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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

Culture Mavens: Feeling at Home in America

Culture Mavens: Feeling at Home in America

(p.287) Ten Culture Mavens: Feeling at Home in America
Jews at Home

Jenna Weissman Joselit

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reviews recent museum exhibitions and guides to cultural Jewishness to pose the question of whether a new emotional concept of Jews at home is apparent in American culture. Considering the status of American Jewry as the largest diaspora population in the world, one must wonder if it constitutes a decided rupture with the past, an entirely new calibration of matters Jewish, or simply an expression of tradition in a new register. It laments the difficulty of studying the American Jewry, especially when compared with the Jewish populations in other countries — to say nothing of contemporary Israeli society. The American Jews' fluid and simultaneous embrace of consumer culture and liturgical tradition, of ‘kosher cellphones’ and gay weddings, of Chinese food and ‘heirloom talitot’ (prayer shawls) that embed a photograph of a beloved ancestor in their folds — makes for a culture that defies easy description. Yet the chapter surmises that there is something about the modern American Jewish experience circa 2009 that seems downright revolutionary rather than evolutionary.

Keywords:   American Jewry, American culture, museum exhibitions, cultural Jewishness, American Jewish experience, Jews at home

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