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Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites - Interpreting History (Hardback)
  • Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites - Interpreting History (Hardback)
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Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites - Interpreting History (Hardback)

(author)
£54.95
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 10/11/2016
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Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites begins with a broad overview of American Jewish history in the context of a religious culture than extends back more than 3,000 years and which manifests itself in a variety of distinctive American forms. Five chapters examine key themes in American Jewish history: movement, home life, community, prejudice, and culture. Each thematic chapter is followed by a series of case studies that describe and analyze a variety of projects by historical organizations to interpret American Jewish life and culture for general public audiences. The last two chapters of the book are a history of Jewish collections and Jewish museums in North America and a look at "next practice," intended to promote continuous innovation, new thinking, and programming that is responsive to ever-changing circumstances.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442264342
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 739 g
Dimensions: 264 x 183 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Avi Y. Decter's book, Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites...provides a useful guide for exploring American Jewish life in American cultural spaces. Decter's book is designed for secular American institutions; this is not a guide for interpreting material culture at Jewish museums and historical societies. Rather, this book argues for the inclusion of American Jewish stories in the larger cultural conversation.... The result is a useful toolbox for museums and historic sites interested in building the American Jewish experience into their galleries and tours.... Decter, Eleff, and Grossman provide a solid, important foundation for museums and historic sites interested in interpreting American Jewish life. * The American Jewish Archives Journal *
With contributions from three talented colleagues, Avi Y. Decter provides a unique and highly readable roadmap to this far-flung and diverse topography. Written for an audience of professionals at museums and historic sites as part of an American Association for State and Local History series, he aims to make the unfamiliar less foreign and give courage to curators and educators who are "afraid to get it wrong" (3). . . . Decter & Co. provide a crash course and a tantalizing parade of model projects. * American Jewish History *
A superb accomplishment! First, Avi Decter and his collaborators set forth a bold curriculum for interpreting Jewish history-incorporating the finest recent scholarship on the Jewish experience of immigration, domestic and community life, and cultural participation in American history. And then they survey an amazingly diverse array of museum projects by which curators and public historians have advanced public understanding of this history. The result is a provocative dialogue between what we know and how we create. Everyone engaged in historical interpretation-in the classroom, the gallery, the cityscape, or on screens-has to read this book. -- Richard Rabinowitz, President, American History Workshop
Interpreting American Jewish History at Museums and Historic Sites provides a concise, thorough, and relevant history of the Jews in America that will serve as a useful resource for museum professionals (and volunteers) in any history-related organization. Of particular importance - and value - is the concluding chapter, "Toward Next Practice," which offers imaginative yet eminently do-able programmatic approaches that are invaluable for any history-oriented institution seeking to remain relevant in today's dynamic multimedia world. All in all, the volume's synthesis of current scholarship with practical applications in a highly readable text should earn it a spot on any museum professional's history bookshelf. -- Marsha L. Semmel, Independent Consultant
Decter and his co-contributors offer a concise, accessible introduction to Jewish history and a far-reaching tour of public history projects that have explored its rich story. Interpreting American Jewish History is a can-do handbook for those new to the subject, and the concluding chapter on "next practice" provides a roadmap for innovation that is a must-read for all museum professionals. -- Benjamin Filene, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Director of Public History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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