At its broadest level, politics is the practice of making a community a better, safer, and more tolerant place to live. So it should be of no surprise that America’s Jews have devoted themselves to civic engagement and the democratic process. From before the Revolutionary War to the early twenty-first century, when America saw the first Jewish vice presidential nominee of a major party and the first Jewish Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Jewish community has always devoted itself to public service, issue advocacy, and involvement in politics and government at every level. While strong support for the safety and security of the state of Israel has been a hallmark of US foreign policy since Israel’s founding, it is by no means the only policy area in which American Jews are involved. Nor are American Jews monolithic in their politics. Although the Jewish community has become a reliable part of the Democratic Party’s base in most partisan elections, American Jews represent a wide range of ideologies on most economic and foreign policy matters. In addition to becoming leaders in business and labor, in academia and in philanthropy, Jewish Americans have always helped shape the discussion over the issues that form the country’s future. In this volume, a mix of professors, graduate students, and lay people in the field of politics with a breadth of experience debate some central questions: Is Israel still the most important policy concern for American Jews? Why does the Jewish community vote Democratic in such overwhelming numbers? Can American Jews balance economic, security and human rights concerns in a rapidly changing international community? And how will such profound transformations affect the role of America’s Jewish community as the United States seeks out its own role in domestic and global politics?
This volume focuses on the special role that Jews played in reshaping the racial landscape of southern California in the twentieth century. Rather than considering this issue in terms of broad analyses of organizations or communities, each contribution instead approaches it by examining the activity of a single Jewish individual, and how he or she navigated the social terrain of a changing southern California. In particular, this volume is one of the first to take seriously the unique racial/ethnic makeup of southern California for Jewish activism, with a particular focus on the relationship between Jews and Mexican Americans in the area around Los Angeles. The Jewish individuals who are this volume’s subjects represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives, ranging from an elected official to an activist lawyer, and from a local businessman to a Democratic Party organizer. The volume culminates with an interview with one of the most beloved of local university rabbis, who has been operating in the ever-changing environment of higher education in Los Angeles over the past thirty years. While its overall message is one of optimism, the volume does not shy away from taking on some of the more vexed issues in the scholarship of racial/ethnic interaction. While Jewish activism in shaping local civil rights is thoroughly discussed, the specific and unequal dynamics of power within the civil rights community is also analyzed. The changing relationship of Jews to “whiteness” in southern California during the late twentieth century, in both geographic and political terms, shapes many of these ongoing relationships. Finally, the volume provides a unique historical perspective on our understanding of contemporary Los Angeles in all its ethnic complexity, and specifically in thinking through the future of Jewish role in urban southern California.
A dozen Purdue University Jewish faculty members-10 men and 2 women-who were forced to flee their homes in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary during the Holocaust, tell their stories in a series of interviews conducted by Kleine-Ahlbrandt, a history professor at Purdue and the author of The Burden of Victory: France, Britain and the Enforcement of the Versailles Peace, 1919-1925 (1995). Some of the refugees were unable to escape and survived through hiding and subterfuge or endured the camps. The interviewees, some speaking out for the first time after more than half a century, often found it difficult to recall painful experiences. They discussed the problems of growing up Jewish, especially after the enactment of anti-Jewish legislation; the importance of religion, God, and traditions in their lives; and adjusting to life in the U.S., where finding employment was just one of many obstacles. The author complements the interviews with commentary for readers unfamiliar with the history of World War 1.
The work presented in the volume in fields of the humanities and social sciences is based on 1) the notion of the existence and the "describability" and analysis of a culture (including, e.g., history, literature, society, the arts, etc.) specific of/to the region designated as Central Europe, 2) the relevance of a field designated as Central European Holocaust studies, and 3) the relevance, in the study of culture, of the "comparative" and "contextual" approach designated as "comparative cultural studies." Papers in the volume are by scholars working in Holocaust Studies in Australia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and the US.
Author of more than thirteen books and several volumes of poetry, screenwriter, and director, Edith Bruck is one of the leading literary voices in Italy, attracting increasing attention in the English-speaking world not least for her powerful Holocaust testimony, which is often compared with the work of her contemporaries Primo Levi and Giorgio Bassani. Born in Hungary in 1932, she was deported with her family to the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Dachau, Christianstadt, Landsberg, and Bergen-Belsen, where she lost both her parents and a brother. After the war, she traveled widely until 1954 when she settled in Rome. She has lived there ever since. This important new study is motivated by a desire to better understand and situate Bruck’s art as well as to advance (and, when necessary, to revise) the critical discourse on her considerable and eclectic body of work. As such, it underscores and analyzes the intermedial nature of her contributions to contemporary Italian culture, which should no longer be understood merely in terms of her willingness to revisit the subject of the Holocaust on the printed page or the silver screen. It also includes previously unpublished interviews with the author. The book will be of broad interest to scholars and students of Jewish (especially Holocaust) studies, Italian literature, film studies, women’s studies, and postcolonial culture.“This is the first comprehensive scholarly analysis of the work produced by a main contemporary author of Italian Holocaust literature, focused on Bruck’s overall artistic production (novels, poetry, film, and TV productions). It will offer scholars and students alike a new interpretive perspective and a valuable source of reference for their studies.” Gabriella Romani, Seton Hall University.
This volume presents papers delivered at the 24th Annual Klutznick-Harris Symposium, held at Creighton University in October 2011. The contributors look at all aspects of the intimate relationship between Jews and clothing, through case studies from ancient, medieval, recent, and contemporary history. Papers explore topics ranging from Jewish leadership in the textile industry, through the art of fashion in nineteenth century Vienna, to the use of clothing as a badge of ethnic identity, in both secular and religious contexts. Contents: Shmattas in the North, Shmattas in the South: The Civil War and the Birth of the American Clothing Industry (Adam Mendelsohn); Weimar Jewish Chic from Wigs to Furs: Jewish Women and Fashion in 1920s Germany (Kerry Wallach); Jewish Photographers and the Body in the Weimar Republic (Nils Roemer); Female Tallitot: Creating American Jewish Women’s Religious Experience through Fashion (Rachel Gordan); Clothes and the Weaving of American Jewish Comedy (Ted Merwin); The Jewish Badge in Renaissance Italy: The Iconic O, the Yellow Hat, and the Paradoxes of Distinctive Sign Legislation(Flora Cassen); How a Rabbi Should Be Dressed: The Question of Cassock and Clerical Clothing among Italian Rabbis from the Renaissance to Contemporary Times (Asher Salah); The ‘Disinherited’ Priesthood: A Look into Biblical Israel’s Unshod Priest (Christine Palmer); Costume and Identity in the Dura Europos Synagogue Paintings (Steven Fine); Picturing Vienna’s New Woman: Madame d’Ora meets Ella Zwieback-Zirner (Lisa Silverman); Aboriginal Yarmulkes, Ambivalent Attire, and Ironies of Contemporary Jewish Identity (Eric Silverman); Fashioning Jews on the Screen: The Impact of Dress on Crafting the Jewish Image in Film and Television(Brian Amkraut)
In the late nineteenth century in Europe and to some extent in the United States, the Jewish upper middle class—particularly the more affluent families—began to enter the cultural spheres of public life, especially in major cities such as Vienna, Berlin, Paris, New York, and London. While many aspects of society were closed to them, theater, the visual arts, music, and art publication were far more inviting, especially if they involved challenging aspects of modernity that might be less attractive to Gentile society. Jews had far less to lose in embracing new forms of expression, and they were very attracted to what was regarded as the universality of cultural expression. Ultimately, these new cultural ideals had an enormous influence on art institutions and artistic manifestations in America and may explain why Jews have been active in the arts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to a degree totally out of proportion to their presence in the US population. Jewish cultural activities and aspirations form the focus of the contributions to this volume. Invited authors include senior figures in the field such as Matthew Baigell and Emily Bilski, alongside authors of a younger generation such as Daniel Magilow and Marcie Kaufman. There is also an essay by noted Los Angeles artist and photographer Bill Aron. The guest editor of the volume, Ruth Weisberg, provides an Introduction that places the individual contributions in context.
Jews and humor is, for most people, a natural and felicitous collocation. In spite of, or perhaps because of, a history of crises and living on the edge, Jews have often created or resorted to humor. But what is “humor”? And what makes certain types, instances, or performances of humor “Jewish”? These are among the myriad queries addressed by the fourteen authors whose essays are collected in this volume. And, thankfully, their observations, always apt and often witty, are expressed with a lightness of style and a depth of analysis that are appropriate to the many topics they cover. The chronological range of these essays is vast: from the Hebrew Bible to the 2000s, with many stops in between for Talmudic texts, medieval parodies, eighteenth century joke books, and twentieth century popular entertainment.The subject matter is equally impressive.In addition to rounding up many of the “usual suspects,” such as Woody Allen, the Marx Brothers, and Gilda Radner, these authors also scout out some unlikely comic resources, like the author of the biblical book of Exodus, the rabbinic writer of Genesis Rabbah, and the party records star Belle Barth. Without forcing any of these characters into a pre-constructed mold, the scholars who contributed to this collection allow readers both to discern the common features that make up “Jewish humor” and to delight in the individualism and eccentricities of the many figures whose lives and accomplishments are narrated here. Because these essays are written in a clear, jargon-free style, they will appeal to everyone—even those who don’t usually crack a smile!
For some, the connection between Jews and athletics might seem far-fetched. But in fact, as is highlighted by the fourteen chapters in this collection, Jews have been participating in—and thinking about—sports for more than two thousand years. The articles in this volume scan a wide chronological range: from the Hellenistic period (first century BCE) to the most recent basketball season. The range of athletes covered is equally broad: from participants in Roman-style games to wrestlers, boxers, fencers, baseball players, and basketball stars. The authors of these essays, many of whom actively participate in athletics themselves, raise a number of intriguing questions, such as: What differing attitudes toward sports have Jews exhibited across periods and cultures? Is it possible to be a “good Jew” and a “great athlete”? In what sports have Jews excelled, and why? How have Jews overcome prejudices on the part of the general populace against a Jewish presence on the field or in the ring? In what ways has Jewish participation in sports aided, or failed to aid, the perception of Jews as “good Germans,” “good Hungarians,” “good Americans,” and so forth? This volume, which features a number of illustrations (many of them quite rare), is not only accessible to the general reader, but also contains much information of interest to the scholar in Jewish studies, American studies, and sports history.
This collection of academic essays written by friends and colleagues of Professor Zev Garber, is a long-overdue tribute to an outstanding scholar, teacher, and mentor. Each contribution was written especially for this volume; none have been previously published. The various sections into which these essays are divided reflect the areas in which Professor Garber has devoted his own prodigious teaching and writing energies: the Holocaust, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy and theology, history, biblical interpretation. Also included is a full bibliography of Professor Garber's own writings: books, articles both scholarly and popular, opinion pieces, and the like. The introduction by his good friend Steven Jacobs introduces Professor Garber to those who do not know him and reminds those who do of his important contributions to scholarship.
Between December 1938 and September 1939, nearly ten thousand refugee children from Central Europe, mostly Jewish, found refuge from Nazism in Great Britain. This was known as the Kindertransport movement, in which the children entered as "transmigrants," planning to return to Europe once the Nazis lost power. In practice, most of the kinder, as they called themselves, remained in Britain, eventually becoming citizens. This book charts the history of the Kindertransport movement, focusing on the dynamics that developed between the British government, the child refugee organizations, the Jewish community in Great Britain, the general British population, and the refugee children. After an analysis of the decision to allow the children entry and the machinery of rescue established to facilitate its implementation, the book follows the young refugees from their European homes to their resettlement in Britain either with foster families or in refugee hostels. Evacuated from the cities with hundreds of thousands of British children, they soon found themselves in the countryside with new foster families, who often had no idea how to deal with refugee children barely able to understand English. Members of particular refugee children's groups receive special attention: participants in the Youth Aliyah movement, who immigrated to the United States during the war to reunite with their families; those designated as "Friendly Enemy Aliens" at the war's outbreak, who were later deported to Australia and Canada; and Orthodox refugee children, who faced unique challenges attempting to maintain religious observance when placed with Gentile foster families who at times even attempted to convert them. Based on archival sources and follow-up interviews with refugee children both forty and seventy years after their flight to Britain, this book gives a unique perspective into the political, bureaucratic, and human aspects of the Kindertransport scheme prior to and during World War II.
Scholars tend to call them “rites of passage.” Most people prefer to speak of them as life-cycle events or milestones. Jews like to speak of simchas, when there is something (a birth, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a wedding) to celebrate. These are key moments for individuals and for the families and communities of which they are a part. This volume offers new insights into rituals as old as the Hebrew Bible and as recent as the twenty-first century, in contexts as familiar as the American Midwest and as exotic as Karaism. It examines and frequently affirms some of the rituals that have traditionally been associated with these events, while inviting readers to cast a critical eye on the ways in which these customs have developed in recent years. The authors, who include congregational leaders as well as scholars, also affirm the need to expand or enhance existing ceremonies to include groups whose needs have not traditionally been addressed. They show how rites of passage may be viewed as both conservative and dynamic—connecting us with generations past as well as with our contemporaries.
Studies in American Jewish Literature (SAJL), the official journal of the Society for the Study of American Jewish Literature, publishes peer reviewed scholarly articles, book reviews, occasional poetry, and short stories dealing with aspects of the Jewish experience in literature.
This volume of the Casden Institute's The Jewish Role in American Life annual series introduces new scholarship on the long-standing relationship between Jewish-Americans and the worlds of American popular music. Edited by scholar and critic Josh Kun, the essays in the volume blend single-artist investigations with looks at the industry of music making as a whole. They range from Jewish sheet music to the risqué musical comedy of Belle Barth and Pearl Williams, from the role of music in the shaping of Henry Ford's anti-Semitism to Bob Dylan's Jewishness, from the hybridity of the contemporary "Radical Jewish Culture" scene to the Yiddish experiments of 1930s African-American artists. Contents: Foreword (Gayle Wald); Introduction (Josh Kun); "Cohen Owes Me Ninety-Seven Dollars, and other Tales from the Jewish Sheet- Music Trade" (Jody Rosen); “'Dances Partake of the Racial Characteristics of the People Who Dance Them' : Nordicism, Antisemitism, and Henry Ford’s Old Time Music and Dance Revival" (Peter La Chapelle); “Ovoutie Slanguage is Absolutely Kosher: Yiddish in Scat- Singing, Jazz Jargon, and Black Music” (Jonathan Z. S. Pollack); "'If I Embarrass You, Tell Your Friends' : Belle Barth, Pearl Williams, and the Space of the Risque" (Josh Kun); "'Here’s a foreign song I learned in Utah' : The Anxiety of Jewish Influence in the Music of Bob Dylan" (David Kaufman); "Jazz Liturgy, Yiddishe Blues, Cantorial Death Metal, and Free Klez: Musical Hybridity in Radical Jewish Culture" (Jeff Janeczco).
Over the past several years, there has been growing scholarly interest in the relationship of Jews to the visual narratives presented in the newspaper “funnies,” comic books, and graphic novels. Part of this stems from a developing focus in Jewish studies on the intersections between identity and popular culture. Comics, the argument goes, constitute one of those mass outlets along with television and Hollywood films in which Jews played a dominant role and were able to largely define the genre. Within literary studies, this nascent interest in Jewish comics can be linked to a broader scholarly focus on comics and the ways in which they represent ethno-racial identity, and how traditionally marginalized writers and illustrators have been able to exert increased control over representations of their own ethnic communities. Visualizing Jewish Narrative aims to examine the entire universe of comics and graphic novels from a “Jewish” perspective. The contributors explore the involvement of Jewish writers and artists and the presence of Jewish motifs in many different comic visual media. They come from different academic disciplines, adopt varying methodologies, and cover a broad swath of time (the early twentieth century to the present) and regions (Europe, America, and Israel). This broad and inclusive scope reflects the diversity found in Jewish comics and graphic novels themselves. With studies ranging from comics based on the Old Testament to golem and Talmudic imagery, Spiegelman’s Maus and other Holocaust narratives, stories of immigration and assimilation, Jewish humor in Mad magazine, and the Jewishness of superheroes, this book will not only present much of interest to a general reader, but it also contains ideal supplementary materials for university courses on Jewish culture; American literature; the representation of migration, assimilation, and trauma; the graphic depiction of biblical and folkloric motifs; superheroes; and the production of humor.
Established as a Jewish settlement in 1909 and dedicated a year later, Tel Aviv has grown over the last century to become Israel’s financial center and the country’s second largest city. This book examines a major period in the city’s establishment when Jewish architects moved from Europe, including Alexander Levy of Berlin, and attempted to establish a new style of Zionist urbanism in the years after World War I. The author explores the interplay of an ambitious architectural program and the pragmatic needs that drove its chaotic implementation during a period of dramatic population growth. He explores the intense debate among the Zionist leaders in Berlin in regard to future Jewish settlement in the land of Israel after World War I, and the difficulty in imposing a town plan and architectural style based on European concepts in an environment where they clashed with desires for Jewish revival and self-identity. While “modern” values advocated universality, Zionist ideas struggled with the conflict between the concept of “New Order” and traditional and historical motifs. As well as being the first detailed study of the formative period in Tel Aviv’s development, this book presents a valuable case study in nation-building and the history of Zionism. Meticulously researched, it is also illustrated with hundreds of plans and photographs that show how much of the fabric of early twentieth century Tel Aviv persists in the modern city.
There are two aspects of this volume that merit special notice. First, the aim of the collection of essays and studies in this volume is intended to stress the cultural aspects of the Jewish experience of coming up to and living in the Golden State. Second, while this volume looks at the Jewish experience in California in general - nonetheless, particular emphasis is placed on Southern California, where the Casden Institute is situated. Contents: Isaias Hellman and the Creation of California (Frances Dinkelspiel); A Twice-Told Journey: Sarah Newmark in the Russian Polish Shtetl: How a Jewish California Matron Confronted Her European Heritage (Karen S. Wilson ); Postscript: The Western States Jewish History Archives (Gladys Sturman and David Epstein); From Civic Defense to Civil Rights: The Growth of Jewish American Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Los Angeles (Shana Bernstein); The Third Temple: Iranian Jews and the Blessings of Exile - A personal Memoir (Gina Nahai); Jewish Homegrown History: In the Golden State and Beyond (Marsha Kinder).
A Knight at the Opera examines the remarkable and unknown role that the medieval legend (and Wagner opera) Tannhäuser played in Jewish cultural life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book analyzes how three of the greatest Jewish thinkers of that era, Heinrich Heine, Theodor Herzl, and I. L. Peretz, used this central myth of Germany to strengthen Jewish culture and to attack anti-Semitism. In the original medieval myth, a Christian knight lives in sin with the seductive pagan goddess Venus in the Venusberg. He escapes her clutches and makes his way to Rome to seek absolution from the Pope. The Pope does not pardon Tannhäuser and he returns to the Venusberg. During the course of A Knight at the Opera, readers will see how Tannhäuser evolves from a medieval knight, to Heine’s German scoundrel in early modern Europe, to Wagner’s idealized German male, and finally to Peretz’s pious Jewish scholar in the Land of Israel. Venus herself also undergoes major changes from a pagan goddess, to a lusty housewife, to an overbearing Jewish mother. The book also discusses how the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, was so inspired by Wagner’s opera that he wrote The Jewish State while attending performances of it, and he even had the Second Zionist Congress open to the music of Tannhäuser’s overture. A Knight at the Opera uses Tannhäuser as a way to examine the changing relationship between Jews and the broader world during the advent of the modern era, and to question if any art, even that of a prominent anti-Semite, should be considered taboo.
This is the story of a remarkable life and a journey, from the privileged world of Prussian aristocracy, through the horrors of World War II, to high society in the television age of postwar America. It is also an account of a spiritual voyage, from a conventional Christian upbringing, through marriage to Pastor Martin Niemoeller, to conversion to Judaism.Born during the turbulent days of the Weimar Republic, the author was the goddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II (to whom her father was financial advisor). During her teenage years, she witnessed the rise of the Third Reich and her family’s resistance to it, culminating in their involvement in “Operation Valkyrie,” the ill-fated attempt to assassinate Hitler and form a new government. At war’s end, she worked with British Intelligence to uncover Nazis leaders. Keeping a promise to her father, she left Germany for a new life in the United States in the 1950s, working for NBC and raising her son in the exciting world of New York, only to return to Germany as the wife of Martin Niemoeller, the voice of religious resistance during the Third Reich and of German guilt and conscience in the postwar decades. Upon her husband's death in 1984 she returned to America, after having converted to Judaism in London, and turned yet another page by becoming an active public speaker and author. The title reflects a story of three parts: “Crowns,” the world of nobility in which the author was raised; “Crosses,” her life with Martin Niemoeller and his battles with the Third Reich; and “Stars,” the spiritual journey that brought her to Judaism.
There is no question that the Passion is the most controversial Jesus-if not religious-movieever made. The articles...are an attempt by academics to explain why. Five essays were presentedin an earlier version at the Jewish Studies Symposium on key issues raised by The Passion of the Christ held at Purdue University on March 30, 2004 (Garber, Mork, Pawlikowski, Robertson, Young); and 15 essays (Bartchy, Edelheit, Edelman, Feldman, Golan, Greenberg, Haas, Holdredge, Jacobs, Libowitz, Moore, Neusner, Wheeler, Zuckerman) complement the Purdue Symposium. The contributors reflect on a plethora of issues, and they show that concerned andinformed Jews and Christians together can assess dis/misinformation, monitor dissent, alleviate community fears, and reassure that the solid rock of Jewish-Catholic-Protestant dialogue, though assailed, has not become chipped. The passion over the "Passion" has proven to be a blessing, not a curse. Indeed, seize the teaching moment and develop the agenda. The respect of two ancient faith-communities demands and deserves this.
This fascinating autobiography is set against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic episodes of the twentieth century. It is the story of a stubborn struggle against unjust regimes, sustained by a deep belief in the strength of the human spirit and the transcendental power of music. It is also an account of a rich spiritual life, during which the author has built upon her Jewish roots through the study of Eastern philosophy and meditation. Born in Germany, Eva Mayer Schay's early childhood in Mallorca was an idyllic one. Her parents had emigrated to the island following the Nazi party's rise to power, but in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, the family was repatriated to Germany. Her father was arrested and given the choice of concentration camp or departing for Italy. They managed to leave Mussolini's Italy for South Africa before the race laws were implemented.During World War II, Mayer Schay's parents were classed as "enemy aliens" in South Africa, which led to considerable hardship. Her father died in 1945, after the end of the war. She went through all her schooling and university in Johannesburg, continued her musical studies in London, and after returning to Johannesburg, taught violin, played chamber music, and became a member of the SABC Symphony Orchestra. Defying apartheid, she was fired, later reinstated, but left Johannesburg to play with the Durban Civic Orchestra in 1959. Appalled at the increasing harshness of the nationalist government and by the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, she and her mother finally emigrated to England in 1961.In London, Mayer Schay worked as freelance violinist and was married in 1967. In September 1968, she joined the orchestra of Sadler's Wells Opera at the Coliseum Theatre, later renamed English National Opera, where she remained for almost thirty years.
A compilation of Irving Howe’s interviews during the last fifteen years of his life, this book represents what could be viewed as the sequel to Howe’s intellectual autobiography, A Margin of Hope, which took the story of his life only up to the late 1970s. Many of these interviews were never published and have existed only as personal tapes in the hands of such scholars and activists as Todd Gitlin and Maurice Isserman. Others were originally published in such venues as The New York Times, The Jerusalem Post, and the PBS documentary Arguing the World. Howe never organized his thoughts about the last fifteen years of his life, during which he gained renown for World of Our Fathers, received a MacArthur Fellowship, and became widely regarded as the leading left-liberal intellectual in the U.S. and, arguably, the leading literary critic in America following the deaths of Lionel Trilling and Edmund Wilson. During this time, Howe also struggled to redefine the American Left in an environment that discounted and marginalized it. Indeed, these interviews may have particular significance today, a period of new opportunities for the liberal Left, yet one in which it struggles to construct some coherent identity and compelling program. The editors worked with the full cooperation of Howe’s family. His daughter, Nina, contributed an afterword and provided a number of illustrations and photos that have never before appeared in print.
Separate chapters deal with narrative techniques in gnostic literature, the reception of Luke's Gospel throughout the ages, and the author's own highly sensitive reading of Luke's Gospel. He shows how gnostic enlightenment functions in the development of Jesus as a character as well as in his own teaching technique toward his disciples. Wojcik demonstrates how the implied author of Luke's Gospel uses these same techniques to withhold information and foster insight in the reader. The final chapter isolates the essential differences between canonical and non-canonical biblical scholarship and contains an impassioned argument for the value of scholarly analysis of the Bible from a literary standpoint.
Scholar, teacher, playwright, and editor, Sarah Blacher Cohen was one of the earliest champions of the study of American Jewish literature, a field of academic study that has been in existence for barely thirty-five years. Over the years until her premature death in 2008, she contributed to the discipline in a profusion of genres, from scholarly to popular, from essay to drama, writing or editing seven books of her own. She also wrote and produced several plays with her longtime collaborator, Joanne B. Koch. This special volume (29) of the annual, Studies in American Jewish Literature (ISSN 0271-9274), the journal edited by Daniel Walden, contains a range of tributes from her many friends and colleagues.
There is a general understanding within religious and academic circles that the incarnate Christ of Christian belief lived and died a faithful Jew. This volume addresses Jesus in the context of Judaism. By emphasizing his Jewishness, the authors challenge today’s Jews to reclaim the Nazarene as a proto-rebel rabbi and invite Christians to discover or rediscover the Church’s Jewish heritage. The essays in this volume cover historical, literary, liturgical, philosophical, religious, theological, and contemporary issues related to the Jewish Jesus. Several of them were originally presented at a three-day symposium on “Jesus in the Context of Judaism and the Challenge to the Church,” hosted by the Samuel Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. In the context of pluralism, in the temper of growing interreligious dialogue, and in the spirit of reconciliation, encountering Jesus as living history for Christians and Jews is both necessary and proper. This book will be of particular interest to scholars of the New Testament and Early Church who are seeking new ways of understanding Jesus in his religious and cultural milieu, as well Jewish and Christian theologians and thinkers who are concerned with contemporary Jewish and Christian relationships.