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The Politics and Public Culture of American Jews

The Politics and Public Culture of American Jews (Hardback)

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'This is a collection of original, important, and influential writing' - Deborah Dash Moore. These strikingly lucid and accessible essays, ranging over nearly a century of Jewish communal life, examine the ways in which American Jews grappled with issues of group survival in an open and accepting society. Ten case studies focus on Jewish strategies for maintaining a collective identity while participating fully in American society and public life.Goren traces the ways in which immigrants fashioned a Jewish public culture from the traditions and secular ideologies they brought with them from Europe. Individual chapters show how mass celebrations and demonstrations, including protest marches, commemorations of historical events, political campaigns, and public funerals of famous people, came to serve as civic rituals of affirmation and self-definition in the early 1900s. Turning to issues in the second half of the century, Goren considers the unifying commitment of American Jews to assuring the State of Israel's security and to striving for a pluralistic America.

Readers will find that these essays provide a fresh, provocative, and compelling look at the fundamental question facing American Jewry at the end of the 20th century, as at its start: how to assure Jewish survival in the benign conditions of American freedom. "The Modern Jewish Experience" - Paula Hyman and Deborah Dash Moore, general editors.

Arthur A. Goren is Russell and Bettina Knapp Professor of American Jewish History at Columbia University. His books include New York Jews and the Quest for Community, Dissent in Zion: From the Writings of Judah L. Magnes, and The American Jews.

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