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Does the study of aesthetics have tangible effects in the real world? Does examining the work of diaspora writers and artists change our view of ""the Other""? In this thoughtful book, Ebrahimi argues that an education in the humanities is as essential as one in politics and ethics, critically training the imagination toward greater empathy. Despite the surge in Iranian memoirs, their contributions to debunking an abstract idea of terror and their role in encouraging democratic thinking remain understudied. In examining creative work by women of Iranian descent, Ebrahimi argues that Shirin Neshat, Marjane Satrapi, and Parsua Bashi make the Other familiar and break a cycle of reactionary xenophobia. These authors, instead of relying on indignation, build imaginative bridges in their work that make it impossible to blame one evil, external enemy. Ebrahimi explores both classic and hybrid art forms, including graphic novels and photo-poetry, to advocate for the importance of aesthetics to inform and influence a global community. Drawing on the theories of Ranciere, Butler, Arendt, and Levinas, Ebrahimi identifies the ways in which these works give a human face to the Other, creating the space and language to imagine a new political and ethical landscape.
In 1922, voters in the newly created Republic of Poland democratically elected their first president, Gabriel Narutowicz. Because his supporters included a Jewish political party, an opposing faction of antisemites demanded his resignation. Within hours, bloody riots erupted in Warsaw, and within a week the president was assassinated. In the wake of these events, the radical right asserted that only ""ethnic Poles"" should rule the country, while the left silently capitulated to this demand. As Paul Brykczynski tells this gripping story, he explores the complex role of antisemitism, nationalism, and violence in Polish politics between the two World Wars. Though focusing on Poland, the book sheds light on the rise of the antisemitic right in Europe and beyond, and on the impact of violence on political culture and discourse.
A Philip and Muriel Berman Edition; Translated from the Hebrew by Bernard Auerbach and Melvin Sykes Justice Menachem Elon's classic text surveys the panorama of Jewish law from biblical times to contemporary Israel. The result is the most definitive record to date of a unique legal system that integrates criminal, civil, and religious law to form a unified whole of unprecedented range. This four-volume set is an essential resource for academic, legal, and personal libraries.
New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America's greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades. Surprisingly, no comprehensive history of New York Jews has ever been written. City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, a three volume set of original research, pioneers a path-breaking interpretation of a Jewish urban community at once the largest in Jewish history and most important in the modern world. Volume III, Jews in Gotham, by historian Jeffrey S. Gurock, highlights neighborhood life as the city's distinctive feature. New York retained its preeminence as the capital of American Jews because of deep roots in local worlds that supported vigorous political, religious, and economic diversity. Each volume includes a visual essay by art historian Diana Linden interpreting aspects of life for New York's Jews from their arrival until today. These illustrated sections, many in color, illuminate Jewish material culture and feature reproductions of early colonial portraits, art, architecture, as well as everyday culture and community. Overseen by noted scholar Deborah Dash Moore, City of Promises offers the largest Jewish city in the world, in the United States, and in Jewish history its first comprehensive account.
New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America's greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades. Surprisingly, no comprehensive history of New York Jews has ever been written. City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, a three volume set of original research, pioneers a path-breaking interpretation of a Jewish urban community at once the largest in Jewish history and most important in the modern world. Volume II, Emerging Metropolis, written by Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, describes New York's transformation into a Jewish city. Focusing on the urban Jewish built environment-its tenements and banks, synagogues and shops, department stores and settlement houses-it conveys the extraordinary complexity of Jewish immigrant society. Each volume includes a visual essay by art historian Diana Linden interpreting aspects of life for New York's Jews from their arrival until today. These illustrated sections, many in color, illuminate Jewish material culture and feature reproductions of early colonial portraits, art, architecture, as well as everyday culture and community. Overseen by noted scholar Deborah Dash Moore, City of Promises offers the largest Jewish city in the world, in the United States, and in Jewish history its first comprehensive account.
New York Jews, so visible and integral to the culture, economy and politics of America's greatest city, has eluded the grasp of historians for decades. Surprisingly, no comprehensive history of New York Jews has ever been written. City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, a three volume set of original research, pioneers a path-breaking interpretation of a Jewish urban community at once the largest in Jewish history and most important in the modern world. Volume I, Haven of Liberty, by historian Howard B. Rock, chronicles the arrival of the first Jews to New York (then New Amsterdam) in 1654 and highlights their political and economic challenges. Overcoming significant barriers, colonial and republican Jews in New York laid the foundations for the development of a thriving community. Each volume includes a visual essay by art historian Diana Linden interpreting aspects of life for New York's Jews from their arrival until today. These illustrated sections, many in color, illuminate Jewish material culture and feature reproductions of early colonial portraits, art, architecture, as well as everyday culture and community. Overseen by noted scholar Deborah Dash Moore, City of Promises offers the largest Jewish city in the world, in the United States, and in Jewish history its first comprehensive account.
In the decades following World War II, many American Jews sought to downplay their difference, as a means of assimilating into Middle America. Yet a significant minority, including many prominent Jewish writers and intellectuals, clung to their ethnic difference, using it to register dissent with the status quo and act as spokespeople for non-white America. In this provocative book, Jennifer Glaser examines how racial ventriloquism became a hallmark of Jewish-American fiction, as Jewish writers asserted that their own ethnicity enabled them to speak for other minorities. Rather than simply condemning this racial ventriloquism as a form of cultural appropriation or commending it as an act of empathic imagination, Borrowed Voices offers a nuanced analysis of the technique, judiciously assessing both its limitations and its potential benefits. Glaser considers how the practice of racial ventriloquism has changed over time, examining the books of many well-known writers, including Bernard Malamud, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Michael Chabon, Saul Bellow, and many others. Bringing Jewish studies into conversation with critical race theory, Glaser also opens up a dialogue between Jewish-American literature and other forms of media, including films, magazines, and graphic novels. Moreover, she demonstrates how Jewish-American fiction can help us understand the larger anxieties about ethnic identity, authenticity, and authorial voice that emerged in the wake of the civil rights movement.
Itis generally accepted that Jews and evangelical Christians have little incommon. Yet special alliances developedbetween the two groups in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Evangelicalsviewed Jews as both the rightful heirs of Israel and as a group who failed torecognize their true savior. Consequently, they set out to influence the courseof Jewish life by attempting to evangelize Jews and to facilitate their returnto Palestine. Their double-edged perception caused unprecedented political,cultural, and theological meeting points that have revolutionizedChristian-Jewish relationships. An Unusual Relationship explores thebeliefs and political agendas that evangelicals have created in order to affectthe future of the Jews. Additionally, it analyses Jewish opinions and reactionsto those efforts, as well as those of other religious groups, such as ArabChristians. Thisvolume offers a fascinating, comprehensive analysis of the roots,manifestations, and consequences of evangelical interest in the Jews, and thealternatives they provide to conventional historical Christian-Jewishinteractions. It also provides a compelling understanding of Middle Easternpolitics through a new lens.
A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present,
Third Edition, paints a richly nuanced and strikingly original
portrait of the last two centuries of Japanese history. It takes
students from the days of the shogunate--the feudal overlordship of
the Tokugawa family--through the modernizing revolution launched by
midlevel samurai in the late nineteenth century; the adoption of
Western hairstyles, clothing, and military organization; and the
nation's first experiments with mass democracy after World War I.
Author Andrew Gordon offers the finest synthesis to date of Japan's
passage through militarism, World War II, the American occupation,
and the subsequent economic rollercoaster.
Anglophone Jewish literature is not traditionally numbered among the new literatures in English. Rather, Jewish literary production in English has conventionally been classified as `hyphenated' and has therefore not yet been subjected as such to the scrutiny of scholars of literary or cultural history. The collection of essays addresses this lack and initiates the scholarly exploration of transnational and transcultural Anglophone Jewish literature as one of the New English Literatures. Without attempting to impose what would seem to be a misguided conceptual unity on the many-facetted field of Anglophone Jewish literature, the book is based on a plurality of theoretical frameworks. Alert to the productive friction between these discourses, which it aims to elicit, it confronts Jewish literary studies with postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and other contemporary theoretical frameworks. Featuring contributions from among the best-known scholars in the fields of British and American Jewish literature, including Bryan Cheyette and Emily Miller Budick, this collection transcends borders of both nations and academic disciplines and takes into account cultural and historical affinities and differences of the Anglophone diaspora which have contributed to the formation and development of the English-language segment of Jewish literature.
An insightful new biography of the most controversial and perhaps most fervent of all Zionist political figures Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940) was a man of huge paradoxes and contradictions and has been the most misunderstood of all Zionist politicians--a first-rate novelist, a celebrated Russian journalist, and the founder of the branch of Zionism now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu. This biography, the first in English in nearly two decades, undertakes to answer central questions about Jabotinsky as a writer, a political thinker, and a leader. Hillel Halkin sets aside the stereotypes to which Jabotinsky has been reduced by his would-be followers and detractors alike. Halkin explains the importance of Odessa, Jabotinsky's native city, in molding his character and outlook; discusses his novels and short stories, showing the sometimes hidden connections between them and Jabotinsky's political thought, and studies a political career that ended in tragic failure. Halkin also addresses Jabotinsky's position, unique among the great figures of Zionist history, as both a territorial maximalist and a principled believer in democracy. The author inquires why Jabotinsky was often accused of fascist tendencies though he abhorred authoritarian and totalitarian politics, and investigates the many opposed aspects of his personality and conduct while asking whether or not they had an ultimate coherence. Few figures in twentieth-century Jewish life were quite so admired and loathed, and Halkin's splendid, subtle book explores him with empathy and lucidity.
This classic work draws together the whole rich field of Jewish folklore -- the popular beliefs, practices, superstitions and traditional wisdom relating to all aspects of life. Dr Rappaport has organized the book around four main themes: nature, the heavenly bodies and mythological and cosmological motifs; fauna and flora; human life including birth, marriage, illness and death, omens and portents; and supernatural and natural powers including demons and spirits, witchcraft, charms and spells. There are chapters on folk medicine, demonology and customs and practices. He also includes a selection of Jewish legends and folktales, as well as a collection of Hebrew and Yiddish proverbs and popular sayings.
The first major history of the scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know--or think we know--about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and have come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers--and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive. Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.
Winner of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, Women's Studies Ballots, Babies, and Banners of Peace explores the social andpolitical activism of American Jewish women from approximately1890 to the beginnings of World War II. Written in an engaging style, the book demonstrates that no historyof the birth control, suffrage, or peace movements in the UnitedStates is complete without analyzing the impact of Jewish women'spresence. The volume is based on years of extensive primarysource research in more than a dozen archives and among hundredsof primary sources, many of which have previously neverbeen seen. Voluminous personal papers and institutional recordspaint a vivid picture of a world in which both middle-class andworking-class American Jewish women were consistently andpublicly engaged in all the major issues of their day and workedclosely with their non-Jewish counterparts on behalf of activistcauses. This extraordinarily well researched volume makes a unique contributionto the study of modern women's history, modern Jewishhistory, and the history of American social movements.
Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world-tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles, abandoned mine shafts, and warehouses throughout Europe. It was the largest and most extensive book-looting campaign in history. After the war, Allied forces discovered these troves of stolen books but quickly found themselves facing a barrage of questions. How could the books be identified? Where should they go? Who had the authority to make such decisions? Eventually the military turned the books over to an organization of leading Jewish scholars called Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc.-whose chairman was the acclaimed historian Salo Baron and whose on-the-ground director was the philosopher Hannah Arendt-with the charge of establishing restitution protocols. Stolen Words is the story of how a free civilization decides what to do with the material remains of a world torn asunder, and how those remains connect survivors with their past. It is the story of Jews struggling to understand the new realities of their post-Holocaust world and of Western society's gradual realization of the magnitude of devastation wrought by World War II. Most of all, it is the story of people -of Nazi leaders, ideologues, and Judaica experts; of Allied soldiers, scholars, and scoundrels; and of Jewish communities, librarians, and readers around the world.
The comparative dimension is, all too often, missing from writing
on Israeli history. Zionist ideology restricts comparisons between
Zionism and other forms of nationalism. Also, Zionist claims to
have initiated a radical rupture with the Jewish past mask
continuities between Israel and the experiences of modern diaspora
Jewry. Over the past two decades, Israeli historiography has become
more critical, and a number of books have presented Israel as a
variant of settler-colonialist societies such as the United States
and South Africa. The framework of continuity across space commands
attention, but it lacks nuance and is often built upon politicized
foundations. Moreover, this framework neglects areas of continuity
across time, between Israel and the Jewish past.
Kosher USA follows the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system. It recounts how iconic products such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O tried to become kosher; the contentious debates among rabbis over the incorporation of modern science into Jewish law; how Manischewitz wine became the first kosher product to win over non-Jewish consumers (principally African Americans); the techniques used by Orthodox rabbinical organizations to embed kosher requirements into food manufacturing; and the difficulties encountered by kosher meat and other kosher foods that fell outside the American culinary consensus. Kosher USA is filled with big personalities, rare archival finds, and surprising influences: the Atlanta rabbi Tobias Geffen, who made Coke kosher; the lay chemist and kosher-certification pioneer Abraham Goldstein; the kosher-meat magnate Harry Kassel; and the animal-rights advocate Temple Grandin, a strong supporter of shechita, or Jewish slaughtering practice. By exploring the complex encounter between ancient religious principles and modern industrial methods, Kosher USA adds a significant chapter to the story of Judaism's interaction with non-Jewish cultures and the history of modern Jewish American life as well as American foodways.
Unorthodox Kin is a groundbreaking exploration of identity, relatedness, and belonging in a global era. Naomi Leite paints an intimate portrait of Portugal's urban Marranos, who trace their ancestry to fifteenth-century Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism, as they seek to rejoin the Jewish people. Focusing on mutual imaginings and direct encounters between Marranos, Portuguese Jews, and foreign Jewish tourists and outreach workers, Leite tracks how visions of self and kin evolve over time and across social spaces, ending in a surprising path to belonging. A poignant evocation of how ideas of ancestry shape the present, how feelings of kinship arise among far-flung strangers, and how some find mystical connection in a world said to be disenchanted, this is a model study for anthropology today.
Between 1935 and 1938 the celebrated photographer Roman Vishniac
explored the cities and villages of Eastern Europe, capturing life
in the Jewish "shtetlekh" of Poland, Romania, Russia, and Hungary,
communities that even then seemed threatened--not by destruction
and extermination, which no one foresaw, but by change. Using a
hidden camera and under difficult circumstances, Vishniac was able
to take over sixteen thousand photographs; most were left with his
father in a village in France for the duration of the war. With the
publication of "Children of a Vanished World," seventy of those
photographs are available, thirty-six for the first time. The book
is devoted to a subject Vishniac especially loved, and one whose
mystery and spontaneity he captured with particular poignancy:
This masterwork of interpretative history begins with a bold declaration: The Modern Age is the Jewish Age--and we are all, to varying degrees, Jews.
The assertion is, of course, metaphorical. But it underscores Yuri Slezkine's provocative thesis. Not only have Jews adapted better than many other groups to living in the modern world, they have become the premiere symbol and standard of modern life everywhere.
Slezkine argues that the Jews were, in effect, among the world's first free agents. They traditionally belonged to a social and anthropological category known as "service nomads," an outsider group specializing in the delivery of goods and services. Their role, Slezkine argues, was part of a broader division of human labor between what he calls Mercurians-entrepreneurial minorities--and Apollonians--food-producing majorities.
Since the dawning of the Modern Age, Mercurians have taken center stage. In fact, Slezkine argues, modernity is all about Apollonians becoming Mercurians--urban, mobile, literate, articulate, intellectually intricate, physically fastidious, and occupationally flexible. Since no group has been more adept at Mercurianism than the Jews, he contends, these exemplary ancients are now model moderns.
The book concentrates on the drama of the Russian Jews, including emigres and their offspring in America, Palestine, and the Soviet Union. But Slezkine has as much to say about the many faces of modernity--nationalism, socialism, capitalism, and liberalism--as he does about Jewry. Marxism and Freudianism, for example, sprang largely from the Jewish predicament, Slezkine notes, and both Soviet Bolshevism and American liberalism were affected in fundamental ways by the Jewish exodus from the Pale of Settlement.
Rich in its insight, sweeping in its chronology, and fearless in its analysis, this sure-to-be-controversial work is an important contribution not only to Jewish and Russian history but to the history of Europe and America as well."
An essential account of America's most controversial alliance that reveals how the United States came to see Israel as an extension of itself, and how that strong and divisive partnership plays out in our own time. Our American Israel tells the story of how a Jewish state in the Middle East came to resonate profoundly with a broad range of Americans in the twentieth century. Beginning with debates about Zionism after World War II, Israel's identity has been entangled with America's belief in its own exceptional nature. Now, in the twenty-first century, Amy Kaplan challenges the associations underlying this special alliance. Through popular narratives expressed in news media, fiction, and film, a shared sense of identity emerged from the two nations' histories as settler societies. Americans projected their own origin myths onto Israel: the biblical promised land, the open frontier, the refuge for immigrants, the revolt against colonialism. Israel assumed a mantle of moral authority, based on its image as an "invincible victim," a nation of intrepid warriors and concentration camp survivors. This paradox persisted long after the Six-Day War, when the United States rallied behind a story of the Israeli David subduing the Arab Goliath. The image of the underdog shattered when Israel invaded Lebanon and Palestinians rose up against the occupation. Israel's military was strongly censured around the world, including notes of dissent in the United States. Rather than a symbol of justice, Israel became a model of military strength and technological ingenuity. In America today, Israel's political realities pose difficult challenges. Turning a critical eye on the turbulent history that bound the two nations together, Kaplan unearths the roots of present controversies that may well divide them in the future.
This book focuses on the bilateral and multilateral relations between Britain, the "former proprietor" and Israel, the "successor state," during the period following their armed clash in January 1949, to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza and the Sinai in March 1957. It highlights: the formulation of foreign policy decisions in Britain and Israel; Britain's special responsibility and influence, which affected Israel's relations with neighboring Arab states; Israel's complex policy towards Britain; Anglo-Jewry's attitude towards Israel; and the distinctive relationship between Israel's embassy in London and the Jewish community.
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