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A Woman's LifePauline Wengeroff and Memoirs of a Grandmother$
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Shulamit Magnus

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764524

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764524.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Tradition and its Demise

Tradition and its Demise

Gender and Class in Wengeroff

(p.38) Two Tradition and its Demise
A Woman's Life

Shulamit S. Magnus

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines gender and class in Pauline Wengeroff's Memoirs of a Grandmother. In Volume II of Memoirs, Wengeroff asserts a stark, globalized claim of gender disparity about tradition and its loss among modernizing Russian Jews. The chapter then reflects on her life and experience in St. Petersburg. The organized Jewish community that formed in the capital in the 1860s was that of the moneyed elite; the city was the home of the elite that championed selective integration. In St. Petersburg, the Jewish leadership class was literally under the government's gaze, acutely aware of its self-appointed role as the official model for Russian Jewry and as representative of the community's interests before the authorities. The chapter also describes the struggle between Wengeroff and her husband, Chonon, over Jewish observance. It explores the notions of love and marriage in traditional Jewish culture. Whatever the divergence between Wengeroff's depictions and evidence from German Jewry, she echoes one crucial aspect of middle-class German Jewish experience: the domestication of women.

Keywords:   Pauline Wengeroff, Memoirs of a Grandmother, Jewish tradition, Russian Jewry, Jewish leadership class, Jewish observance, Jewish marriage, domestication, Jewish women, German Jewry

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