The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America
In the decades directly following the Holocaust, American Jewish leaders anxiously debated how to preserve and produce what they considered authentic Jewish culture, fearful that growing affluence and suburbanization threatened the future of Jewish life. Many communal educators and rabbis contended that without educational interventions, Judaism as they understood it would disappear altogether. They pinned their hopes on residential summer camps for Jewish youth: institutions that sprang up across the U.S. in the postwar decades as places for children and teenagers to socialize, recreate, and experience Jewish culture.
Focusing on the lived experience of campers and camp counselors, Sandra Fox’s new book, The Jews of Summer: Summer Camp and Jewish Culture in Postwar America, explores how a cultural crisis birthed a rite of passage that remains a significant influence in American Jewish life. Join us to hear from Sandra Fox about how camp life grew out of a cultural crisis and became a rite of passage in American Jewish life.
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