The Shtetl

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814748317
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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.

Shtetl

Author: Jeffrey Shandler
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813562740
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In Yiddish, shtetl simply means “town.” How does such an unassuming word come to loom so large in modern Jewish culture, with a proliferation of uses and connotations? By examining the meaning of shtetl, Jeffrey Shandler asks how Jewish life in provincial towns in Eastern Europe has become the subject of extensive creativity, memory, and scholarship from the early modern era in European history to the present. In the post-Holocaust era, the shtetl looms large in public culture as the epitome of a bygone traditional Jewish communal life. People now encounter the Jewish history of these towns through an array of cultural practices, including fiction, documentary photography, film, memoirs, art, heritage tourism, and political activism. At the same time, the shtetl attracts growing scholarly interest, as historians, social scientists, literary critics, and others seek to understand both the complex reality of life in provincial towns and the nature of its wide-ranging remembrance. Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History traces the trajectory of writing about these towns—by Jews and non-Jews, residents and visitors, researchers, novelists, memoirists, journalists and others—to demonstrate how the Yiddish word for “town” emerged as a key word in Jewish culture and studies. Shandler proposes that the intellectual history of the shtetl is best approached as an exemplar of engaging Jewish vernacularity, and that the variable nature of this engagement, far from being a drawback, is central to the subject’s enduring interest.

On the Trails of Tradition

Author: Eliezer Segal
Publisher: Quid Pro Books
ISBN: 1610271033
Format: PDF, Docs
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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).

The Paranoid Apocalypse

Author: Richard Landes
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814748929
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Post Holocaust France and the Jews 1945 1955

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479835048
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Despite an outpouring of scholarship on the Holocaust, little work has focused on what happened to Europe’s Jewish communities after the war ended. And unlike many other European nations in which the majority of the Jewish population perished, France had a significant post‑war Jewish community that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945–1955 offers new insight on key aspects of French Jewish life in the decades following the end of World War II. How Jews had been treated during the war continued to influence both Jewish and non-Jewish society in the post-war years. The volume examines the ways in which moral and political issues of responsibility combined with the urgent problems and practicalities of restoration, and it illustrates how national imperatives, international dynamics, and a changed self-perception all profoundly helped to shape the fortunes of postwar French Judaism.Comprehensive and informed, this volume offers a rich variety of perspectives on Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology. With contributions from leading scholars, including Edward Kaplan, Susan Rubin Suleiman, and Jay Winter, the book establishes multiple connections between such different areas of concern as the running of orphanages, the establishment of new social and political organisations, the restoration of teaching and religious facilities, and the development of intellectual responses to the Holocaust. Comprehensive and informed, this volume will be invaluable to readers working in Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology.

Elie Wiesel

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253008123
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Why Is America Different

Author: Steven T. Katz
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761847707
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust

Author: Yaffa Eliach
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195031997
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Based on interviews and oral histories, this collection of 89 stories is the first anthology of Hasidic stories about the Holocaust, and the first ever in which women play a large role.