The Jewish Experience in America
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.
About the Author
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.
"Sorin's thesis is extremely timely, and his book deserves to be read both widely and closely by our communal elites consumed with the notion that American Jews are hellbent on assimilation."
"Probably the best brief history of American Jews available."
Other Titles by Gerald Sorin
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