Tradition Transformed: The Jewish Experience in America

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JHU Press, 1997 M04 18 - 294 pages
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Brings together all aspects of American Jewish history—the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments, and their contributions to education and culture.

Throughout American history, from the colonial era to the present, Jews have found America generally hospitable. Yet even in this relatively receptive country, which essentially replaced Israel as the "promised land," there have been vexing questions for Jews—questions about the costs of freedom and mobility, especially with regard to the erosion of Jewish tradition and distinctiveness.

In this one-volume history of the Jewish experience in America, Gerald Sorin argues that, from colonial times to the present, "acculturation" and not "assimilation" has best described the experience of Jewish Americans. American Jews, Sorin explains, have maintained their unique ethnic characteristics yet have become part of mainstream, middle-class American life. Sorin also shows how the large migration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century made a lasting impact on how other Americans imagine, understand, and relate to Jewish Americans and their cultural contributions today.

Drawing together all aspects of American Jewish history, this concise volume deals with the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments domestically and internationally (especially after the Holocaust), and their contributions to education and culture.

 

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Contents

Chapter
1
The Threshold of Liberation 16541 820
11
Chapter 4
34
Chapter 5
53
The Urban Experience
61
Chapter 6
75
Smaller Cities and Towns
91
Chapter 7
107
Jewish Participation in American
147
Chapter 10
154
Mobility Politics and the Construction
160
Almost at Home in America 19201945
179
Chapter 12
194
Chapter 13
214
Chapter 14
234
Bibliographical Essay
255

Chapter 8
126
Chapter 9
141

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About the author (1997)

Gerald Sorin is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of History at the State University of New York, New Paltz. He is the author of A Time for Building: The Third Migration, 1880-1920 (Volume 3 of The Jewish People in America), available from Johns Hopkins.

Bibliographic information