• $5.99

Publisher Description

I must confess that, in some thirty years of writing and teaching Jewish history, I have not thought seriously about the American Jewish experience, with the notable exception of some basic reading to prepare me to introduce the subject in my broad survey courses on modern Jewish history and thought. I was trained as a Jewish historian at Columbia University and the Hebrew University at a time when a clear bias existed, perpetuating the primary status of European Jewish history over American because of its grounding in Hebraic and rabbinic texts. Moreover, I was acutely aware of the relative indifference of my Israeli teachers to American culture, all of them students of Baer, Dinur, and Scholem, card-carrying members of the so-called "Jerusalem school." (1) Our academic world has changed in these thirty years in North America, in Israel, and now in Europe. American Jewish history is taken seriously in Israel because American Jewish historians are more numerous and more prominent in the field, better trained both in American and Jewish history, and because the more traditional and ideologically driven historiography to which I was still exposed has given way to more nuanced and variegated approaches to the study of the Jewish past throughout the world. With the amazingly steady and sustained growth of Jewish Studies on American campuses, American Jewish history is gradually finding its place of prominence among the vast range of Jewish Studies courses. Particularly in history departments in this country which give priority to American history, American Jewish history represents an accessible and desirable link between Judaic studies and history as larger numbers of students in the mainstream of the humanities naturally discover the place of Jews in American and global culture.

September 1
American Jewish Historical Society
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

More Books by American Jewish History