american jewish films the search for identity

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American Jewish Films

Author : Lawrence J. Epstein
ISBN : 9781476601847
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 72 MB
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This is a thematic survey of American films with significant Jewish content that made an important statement about America. Both familiar and lesser known films are included. An introduction discusses why American Jews were attracted to films as audiences, performers and business people, and evaluates how films help audiences think about their lives. The book then focuses on themes and representative and important films, placing them in their cultural contexts. One of the aspects of American Jewish life brought out by the films in general is the tensions between an American and a Jewish identity and between a Jewish identity and a broader human identity. Other themes are assimilation and acculturation, interfaith relations, Israel, marriage and family relations, the role of women, Jews and American politics, and anti–Semitism including the Holocaust.

The American Jewish Story Through Cinema

Author : Eric A. Goldman
ISBN : 9780292754690
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 62. 25 MB
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Like the haggadah, the traditional “telling” of the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt that is read at the Passover seder, cinema offers a valuable text from which to gain an understanding of the social, political, and cultural realities of Jews in America. In an industry strongly influenced by Jewish filmmakers who made and continue to make the decisions as to which films are produced, the complex and evolving nature of the American Jewish condition has had considerable impact on American cinema and, in particular, on how Jews are reflected on the screen. This groundbreaking study analyzes select mainstream films from the beginning of the sound era to today to provide an understanding of the American Jewish experience over the last century. In the first half of the twentieth century, Hollywood’s movie moguls, most of whom were Jewish, shied away from asserting a Jewish image on the screen for fear that they might be too closely identified with that representation. Over the next two decades, Jewish moviemakers became more comfortable with the concept of a Jewish hero and with an overpowered, yet heroic, Israel. In time, the Holocaust assumed center stage as the single event with the greatest effect on American Jewish identity. Recently, as American Jewish screenwriters, directors, and producers have become increasingly comfortable with their heritage, we are seeing an unprecedented number of movies that spotlight Jewish protagonists, experiences, and challenges.

New Jews

Author : David L. Reznik
ISBN : 9781317264385
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 88. 39 MB
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"New Jews'?" is the first comprehensive study of American Jewish identity in Hollywood movies of the new millennium. Despite the argument that we live in a "post-racial" society with supposedly "new" Jewish characters emerging on the big screen, this book details how traditional racial stereotypes of American Jews persist in popular films from the first decade of this century. In clear and readable prose, the book offers an innovative and penetrating look at dozens of American Jewish "meddling matriarchs," "neurotic nebbishes," "pampered princesses," and "scheming scumbags" from 21st century film, whether Hollywood blockbusters like Meet the Fockers and Sex and the City or indie favorites like Garden State and Kissing Jessica Stein. Throughout the book, famous American Jewish characters played by the likes of Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller are discussed, with the ultimate conclusion that movies today are marked less by the emergence of "new Jews" than by the continued - but dynamic and transformed -- presence of the same old stereotypes.

Dynamic Belonging

Author : Harvey E.
ISBN : 9780857452580
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 87. 22 MB
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World Jewry today is concentrated in the US and Israel, and while distinctive Judaic approaches and practices have evolved in each society, parallels also exist. This volume offers studies of substantive and creative aspects of Jewish belonging. While research in Israel on Judaism has stressed orthodox or "extreme" versions of religiosity, linked to institutional life and politics, moderate and less systematized expressions of Jewish belonging are overlooked. This volume explores the fluid and dynamic nature of identity building among Jews and the many issues that cut across different Jewish groupings. An important contribution to scholarship on contemporary Jewry, it reveals the often unrecognized dynamism in new forms of Jewish identification and affiliation in Israel and in the Diaspora.

Half Jew Searching For Identity

Author : D. M. Miller
ISBN : 1542348900
Genre :
File Size : 86. 59 MB
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What is a Half-Jew? Neither this nor that. Practically synonymous with confusion, Half-Jew is a term for people stuck in no-man's land, not quite fitting in with Gentiles nor universally accepted as Jews. Some say there is no such thing, denying many their legitimate heritage and innate pull toward the same culture, ancestry and religious equivalence as those with Jewish matrilineage. Those born of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother are often lost, searching for a true identity. D.M. Miller makes a compelling case to prove the doubters wrong. In analyzing religious arguments, medical and genetic studies, history and ancestry, this intimate part-memoir tells the personal story of one woman determined to eradicate the stigma, unravel the misunderstandings and come to terms with what identity is or isn't through her unique perspective as a Half-Jew.

Cuban Jewish Journeys

Author : Caroline Bettinger-López
ISBN : 1572330988
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 31 MB
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Between ten and fifteen thousand persons of Cuban-Jewish heritage currently live in Miami. Until now, however, this vibrant community and its unique traditions have, to a large extent, escaped the notice of ethnographers, historians, and other scholars. In Cuban-Jewish Journeys, Caroline Bettinger-López remedies that neglect with an engaging, in-depth look at a people whose rich mix of cultures confounds typical ethnic images. The author begins by investigating the history and development of the Cuban-Jewish community, tracing its origins back to Jewish enclaves in Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Mediterranean. She explores how these people came to Cuba in the first half of the twentieth century and how they eventually resettled in the United States as part of the larger Cuban migration that followed Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution. In recounting this history, Bettinger-López draws heavily on numerous stories told to her by Cuban Jews in Miami and elsewhere. Those oral histories also form the basis of Bettinger-López's subsequent exploration of the identity and assimilation issues facing "Jewbans" (as many in Miami began calling themselves in the 1970s). She found that place and date of birth, for instance, may affect an individual's identification with a particular homeland and political ideology, which may in turn influence how the individual "remembers" Cuban-Jewish history. The future of Miami's Jewban community, she suggests, now lies in the hands of a generation that, for the most part, has grown up within the United States. Already, the community is transforming itself linguistically, culturally, and religiously to accommodate the younger generation. Skillfully interweaving historical analysis, personal reflections, inter-generational stories, theories of diaspora, photographs, and current debates on ethnographic writing, Cuban-Jewish Journeys will appeal not only to scholars but to anyone interested in the ever-changing face of multicultural America. The Author: Caroline Bettinger-López, a native of Miami, studied anthropology at the University of Michigan. Since her graduation, she has worked in various teaching and social-service positions in Miami. Most recently, she has taught disadvantaged children in Haiti.

Jewish Eating And Identity Through The Ages

Author : David C. Kraemer
ISBN : 9781135905811
Genre : Religion
File Size : 59. 44 MB
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This book explores the history of Jewish eating and Jewish identity, from the Bible to the present. The lessons of this book rest squarely on the much-quoted insight: 'you are what you eat.' But this book goes beyond that simple truism to recognise that you are not only what you eat, but also how, when, where and with whom you eat. This book begins at the beginning – with the Torah – and then follows the history of Jewish eating until the modern age and even into our own day. Along the way, it travels from Jewish homes in the Holy Land and Babylonia (Iraq) to France and Spain and Italy, then to Germany and Poland and finally to the United States of America. It looks at significant developments in Jewish eating in all ages: in the ancient Near East and Persia, in the Classical age, throughout the Middle Ages and into Modernity. It pays careful attention to Jewish eating laws (halakha) in each time and place, but it does not stop there: it also looks for Jews who bend and break the law, who eat like Romans or Christians regardless of the law and who develop their own hybrid customs according to their own 'laws', whatever Jewish tradition might tell them. In this colourful history of Jewish eating, we get more than a taste of how expressive and crucial eating choices have always been.

Night

Author : Elie Wiesel
ISBN : 9781466805361
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 90. 11 MB
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A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.

American Post Judaism

Author : Shaul Magid
ISBN : 9780253008022
Genre : Religion
File Size : 21. 51 MB
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Articulates a new, post-ethnic American Jewishness

Acting Jewish

Author : Henry Bial
ISBN : 047206908X
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 48. 64 MB
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The history of the American entertainment industry and the history of the Jewish people in the United States are inextricably intertwined. Jews have provided Broadway and Hollywood with some of their most enduring talent, from writers like Arthur Miller, Wendy Wasserstein, and Tony Kushner; to directors like Jerome Robbins and Woody Allen; to performers like Gertrude Berg, John Garfield, Lenny Bruce, and Barbra Streisand. Conversely, show business has provided Jews with a means of upward mobility, a model for how to "become American," and a source of cultural pride. Acting Jewish documents this history, looking at the work of Jewish writers, directors, and actors in the American entertainment industry with particular attention to the ways in which these artists offer behavioral models for Jewish-American audiences. The book spans the period from 1947 to the present and takes a close look at some of America's favorite plays (Death of a Salesman, Fiddler on the Roof, Angels in America), films (Gentleman's Agreement, Annie Hall), and television shows (The Goldbergs, Seinfeld), identifying a double-coding by which performers enact, and spectators read, Jewishness in contemporary performance-and, by extension, enact and read other minority identities. The book thus explores and illuminates the ever-changing relationship between Jews and mainstream American culture. "Fascinating and original . . . Bial's command of sources is impressive, and his concept of 'double-coding' is convincing . . . the book should have no trouble finding a large audience." -Barbara Grossman, author of Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice Henry Bial is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film, University of Kansas. He is editor of the Performance Studies Reader and co-editor of the Brecht Sourcebook.

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