Jewish American Life

American-Jewish history and culture.




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Integration & Intergroup Relations









Education & Intellectual Life




Projecting America

Jews, Hollywood, and popular culture, 1930-1950

Jewish Getaways

The Catskills & Jewish vacationers

A Woman–and a Jew

An immigrant’s memoir of intergenerational conflict

Playing to Americanize

Athletes and athletics among American Jews

The Yiddish Press

A once thriving industry

Yiddish Theater

A cultural phenomenon

American Zionism

The movement finds its voice

To the ‘Burbs!

Jews flee American cities for burgeoning suburbs

Hanukkah, American Style

How the holiday changed

Nice to Visit, Wouldn’t Want to Move

American Jews and Israel in the post-war period

A Snapshot of American Jewry

The National Jewish Population Study of 2000-01

Jewish Humor in America

The Borsht Belt, Broadway, and beyond

Wizards of Wit

A seven-part series on Jewish-American comedy

Jokes of the 1950s-60s

Some greatest hits of that era

Jokes of the 1990s

Some greatest hits of that decade



Destination: New World
Columbus and the Jews

Three Waves
Different categories of American-Jewish immigrants

First Jews
Jews arrive in the future U.S. in 1654

Bavarian Influx
German immigrants change American Jewry.

Migration From Eastern Europe
The face of American Judaism changes

First Stop
A short history of Ellis Island

Jewish Plymouth Rock
The Lower East Side in Jewish memory

Second Sephardic Wave
Jews arrive from the Ottoman Empire

The Wonders of America
An immigrant’s memoir of her first impressions


Integration & Intergroup Relations

Freedom: Promise & Challenge
The unprecedented situation of American Jewry

Acceptance in America
The Constitution, George Washington, and the Jews

Charleston Jews
One of America’s first large Jewish communities

Jewish New York
Challenges and triumphs

Gen. Grant’s Infamy
The Civil War hero expelled Jews from three states.

Leo Frank Lynching
An anti-Semitic incident in Georgia

American Jewish Committee
The first American-Jewish organization fighting hate

Groups of Jews from the same European towns

Brother, Where Art Thou?
The American interfaith movement

Jews & American Pluralism
A golden age when Jews got "insider" status

Civil Rights & Wrongs
Black-Jewish relations

Between the World Wars
Jewish immigrants Americanize

Responding to the Holocaust
The U.S. government and the Jewish community

American Jewry, 1948-80
A focus on Los Angeles

American Midrash
The contradictions of being American-Jewish

Rights & Responsibilities
Jewish values, American values



American-Jewish politics with Russian roots

The 1909 Great Revolt
The International Ladies Garment Worker’s Union strikes

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
A 1911 tragedy

Radicalized Jews
Jews & the Communist movement

"The Crime of the Century"
The Rosenberg case

Grounding Liberalism in History
American Jews & liberal politics

Extending America’s Freedoms
Jews and the Civil Rights movement






Jewish-American Literature

An overview

Immigrant Literature

Yiddish speakers take up English writing

Into the Literary Mainstream

Connecting with Americans by writing about alienation

Jewish American Literature Today

A new crop of writers

Jewish American Poetry

Is there something uniquely Jewish about it?

Next-Generation Novelists

Up and coming Jewish-American writers



Jewish American Music
An overview

Creating the American Musical
The Jewish contribution to Broadway

Who Knew It’s By a Jew?
Songs by American Jews

A Blast From the Past
Klezmer finds new life in America

Rock & Roll Jews
Jewish contributions to rock music


Film & Television

Hollywood & Judaism
A historical look at Jews and Judaism on screen

Judaism Through Hollywood’s Lens
Filmmakers seem comfortable with Judaism

The Jazz Singer
The first "talkie" centered on a cantor’s son

The Multiplex as Temple
Jewish film festivals

Torah From Simpsons
Krusty the Clown & other Jews on the popular sitcom

Head of the Humor Class
Can Jewish comedy survive 21st-century America?



Needling Capitalism
Unionizing American workers

Peddlers & Frontier Judaism
The market revolution takes Jews to the West

Blazing the Wagon Trail
Pioneering Jewish women of the early American West

A Failed Peddler
An immigrant’s memoir of trying to make it in America

Jews Gone Bad
Gangsters, organized crime, and American Jews


Education & Intellectual Life

Jewish Schooling
Educating Jews in America

Judaism & Fresh Air
Summer camps teach kids Judaism and Americanism

Brandeis University
The nonsectarian Jewish college

Smart Jews
The Jewish contribution to American intellectual life

The New York Intellectuals
An influential group of writers and editors



Isaac Mayer Wise
The architect of American Reform Judaism

Rebecca Gratz
Pioneer in education and charitable works

Mordecai Kaplan
Founder of Reconstructionist Judaism

Philip Roth
Jewish-American fiction’s favorite troublemaker

Abraham Cahan
Forward founder and novelist

Anzia Yezierska
Novelist of Jewish immigrants

Emma Goldman
Anarchist and activist

Cynthia Ozick
Novelist and essayist

Saul Bellow
Nobel-laureate novelist

Hank Greenberg
Jewish baseball superstar

Leonard Bernstein
American-Jewish maestro

Bob Dylan
The freewheelin’ Robert Zimmerman

Debbie Friedman
Singing unto God

Molly Picon
Star of Yiddish stage and screen

Mel Brooks
Funny because he’s Jewish

Woody Allen
The Schlemiel as modern philosopher


Freedom Not to Observe
Religious life in the late 1800s, early 1900s

Counterculture Judaism
The havurah movement & Jewish catalog of the 1960s and ’70s

American Orthodoxy, Part 1
From colonial times to World War II

American Orthodoxy, Part 2
Since World War II

Reform Judaism
Born in Europe, grew in U.S.

The Conservative Movement
Founded in Europe, flourished in the U.S.

Reconstructionist Judaism
The fourth dimension

American Synagogue Sisterhoods
Women serving congregation, denomination, American, and World Jewry

American-Jewish Feminism
Origins of a movement that would affect all denominations

American Feminism Matures
Moving beyond "equal access"


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These eight lesser-known Jewish Nobel laureates made groundbreaking contributions to science, culture and more.

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This slogan of Jewish resilience was popularized by the legendary songwriter Shlomo Carlebach.

Gittin 61

The ways of peace.