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Jews at HomeThe Domestication of Identity$
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Simon J. Bronner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113461

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Every Wise Woman Shoppeth for her House: The Sisterhood Gift Shop and the American Jewish Home in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Every Wise Woman Shoppeth for her House: The Sisterhood Gift Shop and the American Jewish Home in the Mid-Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.75) Two Every Wise Woman Shoppeth for her House: The Sisterhood Gift Shop and the American Jewish Home in the Mid-Twentieth Century
Source:
Jews at Home
Author(s):

Joellyn Wallen Zollman

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113461.003.0003

This chapter discusses the synagogue sisterhood gift shops that arose during the 1950s in the United States. It focuses on these gift shops as retailers of the ‘Jewish Home Beautiful’ — official, synagogue-endorsed emporiums of American Jewish domestic life. From their founding in 1948 through their heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s, synagogue gift shops served as the main outlets — and in many smaller cities and towns, the only local outlet — for the purchase of Jewish home goods. They also sold the reigning sisterhood philosophy of home observance, which espoused the creation of a modern American Jewish style. Tracing the history of the shops, paying particular attention to the sisterhood staff and strategy, the shoppers, and the stock, this chapter demonstrates the key role that gift shops played in defining and supporting American Jewish home observance. Furthermore, the location of these gift shops in the synagogue and their concerns about what to have and do at home signalled a discourse about the relation of home to synagogue and the redefinition of Jewish heritage in the wake of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Keywords:   sisterhood gift shops, Jewish Home Beautiful, Jewish home goods, American Jewish domestic life, modern American Jewish style, synagogue sisterhood gift shops, home observance, sisterhood staff, sisterhood strategy, Jewish heritage

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