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Jewish Dress and Cultural History – What You Can Learn from Grandma’s Photos

Hosted By: The Center for Jewish History

For most of Jewish history, clothing represented a tension between dressing Jewish and dressing like everybody else. This was especially true in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, precisely the era in which the ancestors of most American Jews immigrated to the United States. In this talk, Eric Silverman, scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center and author of A Cultural History of Jewish Dress, will demonstrate how we can “read” the clothing in our old family photos for clues about the wider historical processes that shaped our ancestors’ lives, aspirations, and struggles.

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