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The history unfolds with minimal overlap and generous use of anecdotes and personalities—many of them unfamiliar to most readers—and fascinating factoids. Who knew that the retelling of Romeo and Juliet in by Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim was originally called East Side Story and focused on the conflict between a Catholic and Jewish family but was recast because ethnic and racial tension trumped anti-Semitism as more contemporary? Or that the garment industry was propelled by the demand for uniforms during the Civil War?

Or that, historically, most Jews have not been regular congregants at synagogues we also learn why so many synagogues are distinguished by Moorish architecture and that relations among them, already riven by their nation of origin, have historically been fractured by their disparate solutions to reconciling Old World ritual with New World cultural norms?

Moreover, the tone is not hagiographic: Readers are reminded that Jewish husbands deserted their families in epidemic numbers a century ago and that Police Commissioner Theodore A. In other words, what distinguished Jews from other groups? Did class or even national origin set them apart more than religious affiliation?

Jews in Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010 by Jeffrey S. Gurock

You are what you are. Yet there is something unique about New York and the outsize role Jews have played in defining it, at least as far as the rest of America is concerned.


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A particularly interesting chapter discusses Jewish activism in New York in regards to Soviet Jewry and Jewish renewal. Bringing it up to date, Dr. Gurock discusses Black-Jewish tensions, and the impact recent mayors, such as John V. This volume offers not only facts but a serious analysis of the course of Jewish history in New York.

The Jewish Diaspora in New York - The Story of the Jews - PBS

It is footnoted with a fine bibliography and includes a visual essay by Diana Linden. Library Yeshiva University.

Jews in Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, by Jeffrey S. Gurock

Sukkah in a Box New Library Website. Daniel Soyer teaches history at Fordham University in the Bronx. Diana L. Access this eBook from one of our digital partners Table of Contents Introduction.

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

A remarkable accomplishment, Haven of Liberty will stand for years to come as the definitive history of New York City's early Jewish community. They landed in New Amsterdam, where they were hostilely received. But later, New York, as a British colony and then one of the original 13 states, was first to extend its citizenship to its Jewish residents, and Jews adopted the ideals of the American Revolution, participating with enthusiasm in politics.

New York was the pivotal point in many aspects of American Jewish history, such as the contest between Reform and Orthodox Jewry in the s, and in antebellum New York Jews became financial and industrial leaders as well as theatrical and musical impresarios, founded the secular fraternal organization B'nai Brith, and built Jews' Hospital today's Mt.

Jews in Gotham : New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010

While many Jewish leaders openly supported the Southern cause in the s, Jews served with distinction in the Union army, and the Jewish garment industry received a big boost with wartime's demand for uniforms. Polland, of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and Soyer, of Fordham University, pick up the tale in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as Eastern European immigrants flooded the city.

Jews left their mark on New York with a vibrant Yiddish culture, building synagogues like the striking MoorishTemple Emanu-El, establishing charities and settlement houses, department stores like Macy's, banks, labor unions, and Jewish-owned general newspapers like the New York Times.

New York Jews were at the center of national Jewish organizational life, rallying support for European Jews during the Holocaust, and later for Zionism, and for Soviet Jews.