Throughout American history, from the colonial era to the present, Jews have found America generally hospitable. Yet even in this relatively receptive country, which essentially replaced Israel as the "promised land," there have been vexing questions for Jews -- questions about the costs of freedom and mobility, especially with regard to the erosion of Jewish tradition and distinctiveness.
In this one-volume history of the Jewish experience in America, Gerald Sorin argues that, from colonial times to the present, "acculturation" and not "assimilation" has best described the experience of Jewish Americans. American Jews, Sorin explains, have maintained their unique ethnic characteristics yet have become part of mainstream, middle-class American life. Sorin also shows how the large migration of Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century made a lasting impact on how other Americans imagine, understand, and relate to Jewish Americans and their cultural contributions today.
Drawing together all aspects of American Jewish history, this concise volume deals with the transformation of a people, their religion, their move into trade and commerce, their political commitments domestically and internationally (especially after the Holocaust), and their contributions to education and culture.
About Gerald SorinSee more books from this Author
Only about 20% of Jewish Americans classify themselves as observant and 52% are marrying out of the faith. But liberal Jews, at least, are likely to find comfort in Sorin's theory that despite those nMar 10 1997 | Read Full Review of Tradition Transformed: The Je...