The Shtetl

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814748317
Format: PDF, Docs
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Dating from the sixteenth century, there were hundreds of shtetls—Jewish settlements—in Eastern Europe that were home to a large and compact population that differed from their gentile, mostly peasant neighbors in religion, occupation, language, and culture. The shtetls were different in important respects from previous types of Jewish settlements in the Diaspora in that Jews had rarely formed a majority in the towns in which they lived. This was not true of the shtetl, where Jews sometimes comprised 80% or more of the population. While the shtetl began to decline during the course of the nineteenth century, it was the Holocaust which finally destroyed it. During the last thirty years the shtetl has attracted a growing amount of scholarly attention, though gross generalizations and romanticized nostalgia continue to affect how the topic is treated. This volume takes a new look at this most important facet of East European Jewish life. It helps to correct the notion that the shtetl was an entirely Jewish world and shows the ways in which the Jews of the shtetl interacted both with their co-religionists and with their gentile neighbors. The volume includes chapters on the history of the shtetl, its myths and realities, politics, gender dynamics, how the shtetl has been (mis)represented in literature, and the changes brought about by World War I and the Holocaust, among others. Contributors: Samuel Kassow, Gershon David Hundert, Immanuel Etkes, Nehemia Polen, Henry Abramson, Konrad Zielinski, Jeremy Dauber, Israel Bartel, Naomi Seidman, Mikhail Krutikov, Arnold J. Band, Katarzyna Wieclawska, Yehunda Bauer, and Elie Wiesel.

On the Trails of Tradition

Author: Eliezer Segal
Publisher: Quid Pro Books
ISBN: 1610271033
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Academic rivalries, medical ethics, child brides, the social etiquette of gift-giving-these and many other familiar issues have a long and fascinating history among the diverse communities and personalities that have made their contributions to the Jewish tradition. Unfortunately, this enthralling lore is often known only to scholarly specialists or readers of esoteric academic journals and monographs, much of it unavailable in English. In the present collection of short studies, Eliezer Segal introduces the public to the fruits of Judaic scholarship, while employing a charming style that combines erudition and wit. On the Trails of Tradition is a worthy successor to the author's acclaimed collections: Why Didn't I Learn That in Hebrew School? (1999), Ask Now of the Days that Are Past (2005) and A Meeting-Place for the Wise (2008).

Elie Wiesel

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253008123
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, best known for his writings on the Holocaust, is also the accomplished author of novels, essays, tales, and plays as well as portraits of seminal figures in Jewish life and experience. In this volume, leading scholars in the fields of Biblical, Rabbinic, Hasidic, Holocaust, and literary studies offer fascinating and innovative analyses of Wiesel's texts as well as illuminating commentaries on his considerable influence as a teacher and as a moral voice for human rights. By exploring the varied aspects of Wiesel's multifaceted career—his texts on the Bible, the Talmud, and Hasidism as well as his literary works, his teaching, and his testimony—this thought-provoking volume adds depth to our understanding of the impact of this important man of letters and towering international figure.

The Paranoid Apocalypse

Author: Richard Landes
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814748929
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first published in Russia around 1905, claimed to be the captured secret protocols from the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897 describing a plan by the Jewish people to achieve global domination. While the document has been proven to be fake, much of it plagiarized from satirical anti-Semitic texts, it had a major impact throughout Europe during the first half of the 20th century, particularly in Germany. After World War II, the text was further denounced. Anyone who referred to it as a genuine document was seen as an ignorant hate-monger. Yet there is abundant evidence that The Protocols is resurfacing in many places. The Paranoid Apocalypse re-examines the text’s popularity, investigating why it has persisted, as well as larger questions about the success of conspiracy theories even in the face of claims that they are blatantly counterfactual and irrational. It considers the medieval pre-history of The Protocols, the conditions of its success in the era of early twentieth-century secular modernity, and its post-Holocaust avatars, from the Muslim world to Walmart and Left-wing anti-American radicalism. Contributors argue that the key to The Protocols’ longevity is an apocalyptic paranoia that lays the groundwork not only for the myth’s popularity, but for its implementation as a vehicle for genocide and other brutal acts.

I Shall Not Die

Author: Hart N. Hasten
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House Ltd
ISBN: 9789652293022
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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He came penniless to the United States after surviving the Holocaust Hart Hasten rose to the top levels of finance and industry. He became an integral part of his community at large, not only giving of his wealth but also his time and knowledge. He supported the Indiana University, United Jewish Communities, and many more, and founded The Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis. He has been living in Indianapolis, Indiana since 1964, and visits Israel several times per year. Two of his three children, and their families, live in Israel. The book I Shall Not Die! is the personal memoir of Holocaust survivor, Hart N. Hasten. Looking back from the perspective of age seventy, the author presents an amazing account of escape and rescue from Nazi occupied Poland and his formative years in the DP camps of Europe. The saga continues as Hasten arrives in America and achieves extraordinary success in business and attains a position of international leadership in Jewish affairs. The book's central core is an intimate account of Hasten s twenty-five year friendship with revered Israeli political leader and Prime Minister, Menachem Begin. Hasten serves up a fascinating series of personal portraits, anecdotes and insights culled from his close relationships with Israeli and Jewish luminaries including Ariel Sharon, Elie Wiesel and Benjamin Netanyahu. Through it all, Hasten articulates the driving force and commitment to Jewish strength and independence that have defined him as a world recognized leader, as a serious and observant Jew and as a man."

Why Is America Different

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761847707
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book brings together a distinguished group of expert scholars from the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at Boston University on the main areas of American Jewish life, from colonial Jewish experience to images of Jews in contemporary films. This volume represents the fruit of this collective reflection and interrogation.

Rethinking Poles and Jews

Author: Robert D. Cherry
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742546660
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Rethinking Poles and Jews focuses on the role of Holocaust-related material in perpetuating anti-Polish images and describes organizational efforts to combat them. Without minimizing contemporary Polish anti-Semitism, it also presents more positive material on contemporary Polish-American organizations and Jewish life in Poland.

The Wonder of Their Voices

Author: Alan Rosen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199780761
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Over the last several decades, video testimony with aging Holocaust survivors has brought these witnesses into the limelight. Yet the success of these projects has made it seem that little survivor testimony took place in earlier years. In truth, thousands of survivors began to recount their experience at the earliest opportunity. This book provides the first full-length case study of early postwar Holocaust testimony, focusing on David Boder's 1946 displaced persons interview project. In July 1946, Boder, a psychologist, traveled to Europe to interview victims of the Holocaust who were in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps and what he called "shelter houses." During his nine weeks in Europe, Boder carried out approximately 130 interviews in nine languages and recorded them on a wire recorder. Likely the earliest audio recorded testimony of Holocaust survivors, the interviews are valuable today for the spoken word (that of the DP narrators and of Boder himself) and also for the song sessions and religious services that Boder recorded. Eighty sessions were eventually transcribed into English, most of which were included in a self-published manuscript. Alan Rosen sets Boder's project in the context of the postwar response to displaced persons, sketches the dramatic background of his previous life and work, chronicles in detail the evolving process of interviewing both Jewish and non-Jewish DPs, and examines from several angles the implications for the history of Holocaust testimony. Such early postwar testimony, Rosen avers, deserves to be taken on its own terms rather than to be enfolded into earlier or later schemas of testimony. Moreover, Boder's efforts and the support he was given for them demonstrate that American postwar response to the Holocaust was not universally indifferent but rather often engaged, concerned, and resourceful.