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Showing papers in "American Jewish History in 2008"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The concept of cultural pluralism, popularized by Horace kallen in the late 1910s and 1920s, endures as an important model in debates about what it means to be an american as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The concept of “cultural pluralism,” popularized by Horace kallen in the late 1910s and 1920s, endures as an important model in debates about what it means to be an american. as the antithesis to the “melting pot” paradigm, cultural pluralism promotes a theory of group identity that recognizes unchanging ethnocultural allegiances passed on from generation to generation. Sources ranging from high school diversity curricula to scholarly literature on multiculturalism engage the concept of cultural pluralism and discuss its oft-quoted manifesto, kallen’s 1915 article, “Democracy Versus the melting-Pot: a Study of american Nationality,” which he published in the weekly public affairs journal, The Nation.1 Two well-known quotations from the last page of this essay stand out as key illustrations of kallen’s vision of americanization and the relationship between group identity and citizenship. First, kallen describes america as an “orchestration of mankind” in which each instrument contributes its own sound to the harmonious “symphony of civilization.” Second, he claims that although “men may change their clothes . . . they cannot change their grandfathers.”2 Based largely on these enshrined references, kallen’s cultural pluralism garners significant attention as a polemical foil in scholarly and popular disagreements about the value and nature of diversity. kallen’s assertion about the grandfather’s role in shaping an individual’s identity leads scholars to link cultural pluralism with racial categories of identity. in the words of Werner Sollors, an historian of american pluralism, kallen introduced a concept of group identity that was “given to considering descent-based identifications eternal and static.”3 To Sollors and other likeminded critics, kallen’s cultural pluralism stands for the

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The middle class in the United States is one of the most determinant forces in American life as discussed by the authors, and it has increasingly been so since the end of the Second world war, when a mix of economic prosperity and consumer culture helped spin a fantasy of social equality.
Abstract: Class in the United States may be one of the hardest things to determine, and yet one of the most determinant forces. while this has not always been the case, it has increasingly been so since the end of the Second world war, when a mix of economic prosperity and consumer culture helped spin a fantasy of social equality.1 The belief in an expanding middle class served as confirmation of fading class lines, but the postwar obsession with talking about the middle class also evidenced that class still mattered in american life. The trouble was how to define class, especially the middle class. The knowledge that class shaped american life, and yet that few americans could articulate how, bred a particular kind of anxiety. in 1955, for example, allen Ginsberg excoriated middle-class culture in his poem “Howl,” and that same year Sloan wilson depicted suburban middle-class life as desperately meaningless in his novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.2 novelists and poets were not alone in searching for a language of middle-classness. in that same era, a group of social critics popularized a new vocabulary about and in many ways for the middle class. in their new terminology, middle class served as shorthand for the typical and normal in american life. it also came to define much of what was wrong in america. The writings of these social critics reflected a wider cultural ambivalence about the power a newly defined mass public—the postwar middle class—might wield. By diagnosing the problems of the middle class, these critics sought to control and contain its potential power. american Jews shared a deep ambivalence about middle-class power that paralleled broader american trends but also was connected to longstanding anxiety about the consequences of Jews assuming power in the

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Forverts published a series of debates on serious and frivolous issues, from questions of morality and honesty to the proper use of cosmetics as mentioned in this paper, with debates focusing on religion, which drew the most responses and endured longer than all the other features.
Abstract: Beginning in 1902, the Forverts (Jewish daily Forward), already well on its way to becoming the most widely-read Yiddish newspaper in new York, debuted a series of debates that provided conflicting perspectives on serious as well as frivolous issues, from questions of morality and honesty to the proper use of cosmetics. Given the Forverts’ standing as the foremost secular and socialist Yiddish newspaper, it is surprising that debates focusing on religion sparked the most responses, and endured longer than all the other features. The debate over the question, “May a progressive lodge admit believing members?” ran from September through november 1904, drawing eighty letters. interrogating the boundaries between ideology and practice, the 1904 debate examined the religious practices of socialists as it considered the case of members of the Workmen’s Circle, a socialist fraternal organization, who had been “caught” attending High Holiday religious services. The following spring, an exchange titled “A shabesdige shayle” (A Sabbath question) garnered fifty letters from February through April.1 in both debates, religious matters were analyzed seriously, if from a somewhat unconventional perspective. While discussions of the “Sabbath question” in the Yiddish press typically referred to the plight of observant Jews forced to work on Saturday, the Forverts addressed the topic from the standpoint of freethinking, or nonreligious, Jewish immigrants who encountered religious Jews and observed their Sabbath dilemma at work. The debate asked: Should a free thinking hat maker help his religious coworker finish his work on a Friday afternoon so that the religious coworker would be able to leave the shop in time for the Sabbath, or would this assistance, in its direct support of religious behavior, constitute a violation of free thought? This article examines the two Forverts debates, the 1904 Workmen’s Circle feature and the 1905 Sabbath question forum, to gain insight on the complex and variegated religious identities of eastern european Jewish immigrants to America.

12 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the ghetto of the east side of Manhattan, smoking waterpipes, sipping a dark liquid from tiny cups and playing a game of checkers and dice, a game that we are not familiar with as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Who are these strangers who can be seen in the ghetto of the east Side, sitting outside of coffee-houses smoking strange-looking waterpipes, sipping a dark liquid from tiny cups and playing a game of checkers and dice, a game that we are not familiar with? See the signs on these institutions. They read: “Café Constantinople,” “Café Oriental,” Café Smyrna,” and there are other signs in Hebrew characters that you perhaps cannot read. are they Jews? no it cannot be; they do not look like Jews; they do not speak Yiddish. Listen; what is that strange tongue they are using? it sounds like Spanish or Mexican. are they Spaniards or Mexicans? if so, where did they get the coffee-houses, an importation from Greece and Turkey?

12 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors chart the patterns of gender roles forged during these years, with particular focus on the post-immigration period, and how did they mold the immigration patterns.
Abstract: The crypto-Jewish community of Mashhad, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest cities in Iran, owes its inception to the settlement of several Jew ish families in the city in the first half of the eighteenth century.1 The community's forced conversion to Islam in 1839, combined with its members' tenacious though covert fidelity to their Jewish faith for over a century, called into being a unique collective identity. These families had to lead a double life for as long as they stayed in Mashhad, recur ring pogroms as well as changes of rulers and regimes notwithstanding. Indeed, only after World War II and another pogrom did a real exodus begin. Most of them moved to Tehran, while many emigrated to Israel. By the time of the Khomeini revolution in 1979, they were scattered to every major city of commerce on earth. The revolution removed the bulk of the Tehran community—about half the total—to New York.1 The purpose of this article is to chart the patterns of gender roles forged during these years, with particular focus on the post-immigration period. What were past patterns, how did they mold the immigration

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Wise and Marshall as mentioned in this paper were a study in contrasts in character, temperament, and even appearance, and they were so dissimilar in character and appearance as to seem natural antagonists.
Abstract: Louis Marshall and Stephen S. Wise are, in many ways, a study in contrasts. They were so dissimilar in character, temperament, and even appearance as to seem natural antagonists. Marshall was born in Syracuse, New York, a decade prior to the Civil War. A product of the German-speaking Jewish immigrant milieu, he was short and rotund, with an intense gaze, a penetrating intellect, and a distinct preference for congress gaiters, brass-collar buttons, and bowties. Marshall was by nature an autodidact—in addition to English and German, he mastered French, Latin, Greek, and eventually Yiddish. He was also an excellent strategist and knew how to get things done. Wise was born in Budapest, Hungary, in the era of the Italian Risorgimento and the unification of Germany. He was brought to the United States as a small child. Pos sessed of a warm and gregarious nature, he was reared in a traditional German household but his life was shaped early on by the fast-paced, cosmopolitan, English-speaking environment of New York City. Tall and handsome, sporting a thick mane of dark hair and his signature Prince Albert coat, he had a talent for being at the center of the action. A man of deep intelligence, Wise was an extraordinary orator, a natural politi cian, and a master builder of institutions. Marshall and Wise despised one another. Marshall's "capacity for in vective was astounding," recalled his son, James, "but there were limits on this, too, and . . . when ladies and children were present, he would splutter, 'He's a, he's a—So in the family quite a number of persons became known as 'Heezas.' The best known Heezas were Theodore Roosevelt and Stephen Wise."1 For his part, Wise late in life described Marshall as "so much of a master or dictator" of New York City's Temple Emanu-El, Reform's eastern flagship in the early twentieth century, that the congregation virtually "live[d] under Marshall law." What especially troubled Wise, he wrote, were not the differences between them, which surfaced quite dramatically in an early public clash over the Emanu-El ministry, but rather "that Mr. Marshall should have been willing to

5 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the late 1940s, American Jews became an increasingly significant part of the international Jewish arena and of the Zionist movement as a result of the United States' mounting international importance, its grow ing intervention in the Middle East, and the destruction of European Jewish communities in the Holocaust as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: After the late 1930s, American Jews became an increasingly significant part of the international Jewish arena and of the Zionist movement as a result of the United States' mounting international importance, its grow ing intervention in the Middle East, and the destruction of European Jewish communities in the Holocaust. The process intensified in the late 1940s, when American Jews in general and Zionists in particular made decisive economic and political contributions to the establishment of the State of Israel.1 Despite fears of growing antisemitism in the late 1930s due to the Great Depression and to propaganda from Nazi Germany, broad sectors of the American Jewish community were conspicuously more ready than before to engage in Jewish and Zionist activity. From the beginning of the decade substantially more money was contributed to Jewish philanthro pies and to Zionist collections. Hadassah membership increased as did enrollment in the Zionist movement in general, and more Jews attended Zionist gatherings. Jewish solidarity grew in response to the worsening plight of German Jewry, growing antisemitism in central and eastern Europe, and the rift between Britain and the Zionist movement, finding expression in Zionist activity. American Jews' willingness to act on the American scene as an ethnic group with a political agenda grew markedly stronger following the Allies' victory in Europe, as news of the Holocaust reached the United States. The resulting individual and collective shock led American Jews and their leadership to exert their full powers to ensure that a Jewish state would emerge from postwar international negotiations and agreements. As a result, Zionism became the strongest ideological, political, and organizational force among American Jews. The full force and significance of American Zionism in the 1940s and 1950s is to be understood in the light of the identification of American Jews with Zionist goals and with the state of Israel. This identification far exceeded formal membership in the Zionist Organization of America and Hadassah; Jews

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Stoner as discussed by the authors showed a man sitting at a desk with a large Confederate battle flag hanging behind him and a smaller version folded in the front pocket of his jacket, and then the aspirant for public office uttered the words that precipitated a political shockwave.
Abstract: it lasted only a minute, but elicited a more impassioned public reaction than any other political broadcast aired in the South during the early 1970s. During the first days of August 1972, television audiences across Georgia witnessed the sight of a man in a dark suit and bow tie sitting at a desk with a large Confederate battle flag hanging behind him and a smaller version folded in the front pocket of his jacket. The heavylidded eyes that stared intently into the camera lens lent him a reptilian appearance and his heavily accented voice was slow and deliberate. “i am J. b. Stoner,” he announced. “i am the only candidate for U.S. Senator who is for the white people. i am the only candidate who is against integration. All of the other candidates are race mixers to one degree or another.” Stoner identified the policies of the moderate incumbent, Senator David H. Gambrell, as a particular threat to the racial purity of white voters. Then the aspirant for public office uttered the words that precipitated a political shockwave. “The main reason why niggers want integration is because the niggers want our white women. i am for law and order with the knowledge that you cannot have law and order and niggers too. vote white.”1 The commercial was the centerpiece of a radically racist campaign by Stoner, a man described by one scholar as “the patriarch of the white supremacist movement.”2 His manifesto pledged that if elected he would “stop race mixing insanity” by cutting off funds for busing and other federal initiatives to facilitate school desegregation, restricting the access of “lazy drunken blacks” to public housing and welfare, and campaigning for the repeal of civil rights legislation. Stoner also committed himself

3 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Brandeis and Marshall as mentioned in this paper were both first-generation Americans, born of central European Jewish parents, who both compiled stellar academic records and both were considered for seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Abstract: The year 1856 was a vintage year for brilliant Jewish lawyers named Louis. On November 13, 1856, Louis Brandeis was born in Louisville, Kentucky. One month later, on December 14, 1856, Louis Marshall was born in Syracuse, New York. Louis and Louis were both first-generation Americans, born of central European Jewish parents. They both compiled stellar academic records. They both went on to have a profound affect on American law. Both were considered for seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, although only one of them made it.1 And both became eminent leaders in American Jewish life. Yet while both men earned enormous respect within the Jewish and general communities, they never became friends and rarely worked to gether. They differed religiously, philosophically, and politically. They approached Judaism, America, and even the law itself from sharply different perspectives. The parents of Louis Brandeis and Louis Marshall arrived in America at approximately the same time in the middle of the nineteenth century.1 Brandeis' parents hailed from Prague, Marshall's father from Baden and his mother from Wiirttemberg. The two fathers had experienced prejudice and privation in central Europe that precipitated their emigration. Adolph Brandeis, who grew up in an urban area and studied at the Technical

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the spring and early summer of 1919, Louis Marshall spent three arduous months at the Paris Peace Conference defending the rights of Jews in the new states of eastern Europe as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In the spring and early summer of 1919, Louis Marshall spent three ardu ous months at the Paris Peace Conference defending the rights of Jews in the new states of eastern Europe. This brilliant and indefatigable Jewish lawyer, communal leader, and champion of freedom in the United States conducted grueling negotiations in the French capital with Jewish and non-Jewish representatives and the result was an unprecedented minority treaty. Marshall's principal biographers, Charles Reznikoff and Morton Rosenstock, have focused principally on his domestic accomplishments, and the two accounts of his Paris sojourn have assessed his achievements uncritically.2 This essay, based on Marshall's papers and other private and published documents, seeks to assess the goals, methods, difficulties, and accomplishments of Marshall's most important and controversial international initiative, in which he confronted a divided Jewish world and unpredictable statesmen in a postwar environment of heightened nationalism and antisemitism. Here we see another side of Marshall: his tenacity and his courage but also his insistence on the congruence of American and Jewish interests.3


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first two issues were on Marshall's desk almost immediately and the gravity of the situation was clear to him as mentioned in this paper, but he was neither timid nor insecure but vociferously refused to recognize any legiti mate distinction between the rights of Jews and all the other minorities in America.
Abstract: Louis Marshall served as president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) from 1912 until his death in 1929. In that capacity, he became the man to whom "all Jewish issues of the time" were referred.' He brought to that task both a passionate commitment to the well-being of the Jewish people and a blend of principle and pragmatism that reflected his long experience as a lawyer, his faith in America's constitutional democracy, and a deeply considered view of the status of Jews in America. American born, he felt confidently at home both as an American and a Jew. He moved easily between his role as a busy and successful lawyer and his representation of Jewish institutions and the causes they embodied. Most notably, in a period of increasingly outspoken antisemitism, Mar shall gave vigorous expression to the view that the protection and promo tion of Jewish interests in America required neither self-ghettoization nor self-denial but rather the skillfull and tenacious invocation of undeniably American values—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, respect for human equality and diversity. Articulating Jewish communal interests in terms that resonated with America's self-proclaimed aspirations, he was neither timid nor insecure but vociferously refused to recognize any legiti mate distinction between the rights of Jews and all the other minorities of which America is composed. In doing so he shaped the strategy that guided the Jewish community through the 20th century and down to the present day. Marshall's response to a particularly dramatic antisemitic challenge, the campaign against American Jews by Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent, provides an illuminating case study. On May 22, 1920, the Dearborn Independent, a weekly journal owned by Ford, published the first of the extended series of antisemitic articles for which it soon became infamous. The first two issues were on Marshall's desk almost immediately. The gravity of the situation was clear to him.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The list of Jewish leadership posts he held at various phases of his career, including positions as president of the American Jewish Committee, president of Temple Emanu-El, and chair of the board of directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary, is imposing.
Abstract: Louis Marshall is a luminous figure in American Jewish history. The list of Jewish leadership posts he held at various phases of his career, includ ing positions as president of the American Jewish Committee, president of Temple Emanu-El, and chair of the board of directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary, is imposing. Along with his work as a Jewish organizational leader, Marshall labored in a long and successful career as a corporate and constitutional lawyer, and also served in a number of voluntary public service roles, especially for New York State. The extraordinary range of his activities and interests, particularly in the decade of the 1920s, propelled him to the center stage of Jewish life. Following the death of banker and philanthropist Jacob H. Schiff in 1920 and the end of Louis Brandeis' presidency of the Zionist Organization of America the following year, Marshall filled the leadership void and, according to some accounts, imposed "Marshall law" on the country's Jewish community.1 At the heart of Marshall's career is an apparent paradox: he became proactively engaged with issues connected to the democratization of Jewish life, but also retained a deeply conservative belief that solutions would develop naturally, without undue human interference. In other words, Marshall's legacy combines and anticipates liberal-activist and conservative poles of American Jewish politics that consolidated in the decades after his death. Changing circumstances dictated whether Marshall's activist inclina tion to shape new democratic patterns in global Jewish experience or his conservative distrust of popular "downtown" politics gained the upper hand. Indeed, owing to the sheer diversity of his activities and the com plexity of Jewish affairs in the United States and overseas, it is difficult


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Yiddish press in the United States came into existence with the beginning of jewish immigration from eastern europe and soon became, like any other foreign language press, a very important immigrant institution as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The Yiddish press in the United states came into existence with the beginning of jewish immigration from eastern europe and soon became, like any other foreign language press, a very important immigrant institution.1 it encompassed a wide range of newspapers and periodicals, including not only monthlies and weeklies but also dailies, several of which were already appearing at the turn of the century. almost all the Yiddish dailies reflected their own ideological tendency, ranging from orthodox to Zionist to socialist, and they were, to some extent, intended to advance the interests of these groups and parties and to support their political struggles.2 nonetheless, scholars—following the pioneering studies of Robert e. Park and Mordechai soltes—have largely agreed that Yiddish newspapers in the United states were not merely a tool to advance various ideologies; they were also important agents of acculturation and americanization for jewish immigrants from eastern europe.3 at the end of World War i, by which time jewish immigration to the United states had begun its decline, there were five Yiddish dailies in the United states. each attempted in its own way to deal with all aspects of jewish immigrant life: politics, culture, social and economic activities, and even family matters. They aspired to help create the profile of the american jew and to shape the image of jewish immigrant society. Three important figures in the american Yiddish world—the poet jacob Glatstein, the journalist and critic shmuel niger, and the journalist and editor hillel Rogof—eloquently (though somewhat nostalgically) recalled these aims in the opening essay to a book marking the seventy-fifth anniversary

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: show relies on well-established traditions of Jewish humor, “the Jewish content, sensibility, and recognizability” of these familiar tropes provide fresh perspectives since they do not “fall in line with narratives and images that would be comfortable for non-Jewish audiences” (284). The “postmodern self-awareness” of the Jewish characters also allows them to assume an “outsider perspective,” even as they operate from what appears to be the realm of assimilated American life (293). Brook has assembled a stellar cast of contributors, and thus it is a shame that his all-too-brief introduction to the volume does little to highlight the thematic relationship among the essays. Rather, he focuses in on debates among “passionate adherents of the pro-, anti-, and ambivalent postmodernist schools,” but with no sense of how the pieces interact in terms of their subject matter and their understanding of how Jewishness is represented in contemporary culture (8). Unfortunately, the introduction is also marred by sloppy editing. The first page of the introduction gives the date of the “Too Jewish?” exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York as 1976, though the footnote correctly shows it was 1996. Susan A. Glenn



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The second part of the book, Stages of Identity: Performing Ethnic Subjects, concerns itself with the tension between mask and inner self, passing, impersonation of "otherness", and racial mutability as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: identity is a matter of exteriority and performance: as Levinsky moves up the social ladder, he adopts the etiquette and accoutrements of the bourgeoisie, only to realize that in the process he has nearly lost his authentic self. The second part of the book, “Stages of Identity: Performing Ethnic Subjects,” concerns itself with the tension between mask and inner self, passing, impersonation of “otherness,” and racial mutability. It is devoted to the professional stage and zeroes in on the Italian American popular entertainer Eduardo Migliaccio, known as Farfariello, actor David Warfield and other racial impersonators, the phenomenal success of Potash and Perlmutter, Jewish and black entertainers in blackface, and popular second-generation Jewish performers like Eddie Cantor and Fanny Brice. Unlike the first part of the book, this one is heavily Jewish in content, an imbalance not quietly addressed by the author. It is also flatter than the first part. Since it deals mostly with popular theater, especially vaudeville, where delivery outranks the written text, it begs for a richer evocation of performance practices. Specifics of delivery culled from reviews, recorded songs, and films would transport the material from the two-dimensional frame of theorized text to the embodied world of the stage. One also notes the occasional shortage of basic factual information. This, it seems, is brought about by Romyen’s love of theory and complex ideas. These comments notwithstanding, Romeyn should be commended for providing a comprehensive and masterful study and for providing us with an intricate scholarly apparatus that greatly enhances our understanding of the intersection of ethnicity, race, and performativity. Edna Nahshon



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Remennick and Kliger as mentioned in this paper made a serious contribution to the study of the historical phenomenon of Russian Jews, a journey that has directly affected probably about 3.5 million Jews of the former Soviet Union (and indirectly affected millions of Jews in other counties) and has changed the landscapes of Jewish communities around the world.
Abstract: and in international Jewish life has become more visible. Russian Jews have started to participate in major national and international Jewish organizations and, in a sense, serve as facilitators in communications between various Jewish communities of the world. Because of its comprehensiveness, comparative nature, and thorough selection and analysis of facts, data, and scholarship, Remennick’s book is a serious and fresh contribution to the study of the historical phenomenon of the Russian Jews, a journey that has directly affected probably about 3.5 million Jews of the former Soviet Union (and indirectly affected millions of Jews in other counties) and has changed the landscapes of Jewish communities around the world. Sam Kliger

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Abstraction as mentioned in this paper explores the ways in which Jewish women promoted Judaism, extended the reach of its rituals, spread knowledge of its tenets, and guaranteed their faith a permanent and vibrant presence in the American West.
Abstract: teries and depended largely on generous patrons for economic support. In the main, Catholic sisters, commonly but incorrectly referred to as “nuns,” operated schools and hospitals and raised money for properties belonging, not to the church, but rather to their own individual religious congregations—to the consternation of some clergymen who yearned to hold the legal titles on those lands and buildings while the sisters paid the mortgages. Throughout the author acknowledges that her research focuses almost exclusively on women of the middle and upper classes. Taking nothing away from that narrative, one wonders about Jewish women at the margins of those circles. For example, it might also have been enlightening to know more about women who married outside of their religion and/or abandoned the practices of Judaism. For good or ill, what impact did those choices have on Jewish women and the world around them in the West? These are minor points, not intended to detract from the overall excellence of this fine book, a “must read” for scholars and the general audience alike. Jeanne E. Abrams enriches our understanding of Jewish women and the ways in which, through practical and spiritual commitments, they promoted Judaism, extended the reach of its rituals, spread knowledge of its tenets, and guaranteed their faith a permanent and vibrant presence in the American West. Anne M. Butler

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Feingold as mentioned in this paper discussed the new tensions with the Soviets that emerged in the Reagan years and the freedom that came in 1989, concluding with some afterthoughts, and gave too much credit to the efforts of Jewish organizations on behalf of the émigrés.
Abstract: organizations themselves, the Israeli organizations, and Israel. The author treats in some detail the problem of proliferating Jewish organizations, and their tendency to disagree. After discussing the new tensions with the Soviets that emerged in the Reagan years and the freedom that came in 1989, Feingold concludes with some afterthoughts. Here he may give too much credit to the efforts of Jewish organizations on behalf of the émigrés. Political leadership was also essential. Without the leadership of Jackson and his committed staff members, emigration would, indeed, have waited until 1989. By the time the Jews could freely emigrate, the United States was no longer an option, and so Israel, with financial help from the U.S., finally received and assimilated hundreds of thousands of new immigrants. Feingold concludes on a very positive note. Most of us can remember the pictures of Russian Jews stepping from airplanes to Israeli soil. To the observer, it seemed that a disproportionate number carried musical instruments. As one reporter quipped, those without musical instruments were probably pianists. No wonder the Soviets were loathe to let them go. Anna K. Nelson

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: her story several generations later and relies more heavily than Shevitz on oral histories. All told, Shevitz has produced a thoughtful, informative book. It is less consistently lively and engaging, but when she cites a traditionalist crying out against Reform (“Get me away from your new-fangled things—they are all sins!”), we are brought directly into the experience of accommodation with all its attendant challenges, anxieties, and struggles (74). I therefore recommend Jewish Communities on the Ohio River to all those interested in how Jews ‘got comfortable’ in small-town America. Avi Decter

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Stier as discussed by the authors concludes with recommendations concerning the "continuing imperative" of cultural restitution, by which the legacy of World War II looting might come to provisional closure, and recommends that the world move toward building an international consensus to resolve long-standing restitution grievances.
Abstract: up in the United States, reaching a “veritable deluge” in the 1990s following the fall of communism, as well as sensational cases such as the story of “Nazi gold” handled by Swiss banks, which was the impetus “toward building an international consensus to resolve long-standing restitution grievances” (216). The book concludes, therefore, with recommendations concerning the “continuing imperative” of cultural restitution, by which the legacy of World War II looting might come to provisional closure. Oren Baruch Stier