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Book Talk: Artifacts of Orthodox Jewish Childhoods

The texts, songs, toys, and other material artifacts of childhood play an important role in the development of the child, especially in closed communities like the Orthodox Jewish community. With their essays in Artifacts of Orthodox Childhoods: Personal and Critical Essays, edited by Dainy Bernstein, as a jumping-off point, Meira Levinson, Hillel Broder, and Miriam Moster discuss these artifacts with CUNY Graudate Center through scholarly and personal lenses. They consider the normative and subversive aspects of a Middle Grade series about Devora Doresh, Orthodox girl detective; the long-lasting effects of a child’s first siddur (prayer book); and the dynamics at play in ultra-Orthodox songs about Chanukah.

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