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New York Jews and the Decline of Urban Ethnicity, 1950-1970

Eli Lederhendler

Cloth $29.95    |   0-8156-0711-3    |   2001

The first book-length study of Jewish culture and ethnicity in New York City after World War II.

Here is an intriguing look at the cause and effect of New York City politics and culture in the 1950s and 1960s and the inner life of one of the city’s largest ethnic/religious groups. The New York Jewish mystique has always been tied to the fabric and fortunes of the city, as has the community’s social aspirations, political inclinations, and its very notion of "Jewishness" itself.

All this, points out Eli Lederhendler, came into question as the life of the city changed. Insightfully and meticulously he explores the decline of secular Jewish ethnic culture, the growth of Jewish religious factions, and the rise of a more assertive ethnocentrism. Using memoirs, essays, news items, and data on suburbanization, religion, and race relations, the book analyzes the decline of the metropolis in the 1960s, increasing clashes between Jews and African Americans, and postwar transiency of neighborhood-based ethnic awareness.

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Eli Lederhendler is the Stephen S. Wise Associate Professor of American Jewish History and Institutions at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is the author of The Road to Modern Jewish Politics, winner of the 1990 National Jewish Book Award.

6 x 9, 384 pages, 16 photographs, index, bibliography, notes

New York Jews and the Decline of Urban Ethnicity, 1950-1970

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