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Jews of Brooklyn (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life) Hardcover – November 1, 2001

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Jews of Brooklyn (Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life) + Brownsville: The Jewish Years: celebrating hope, hard work, tolerance & the triumph of the human spirit + Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto (Historical Studies of Urban America)
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Product Details

  • Series: Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Brandeis; 1st edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584650036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584650034
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 8.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Say "Brooklyn" and whatever images first come to mind are due in part to the Jews who shaped the borough, as this large, complex collection definitively demonstrates. Offering historical examinations of population shifts, synagogues and egg creams alongside personal experiences of community, this encyclopedia the variations are a metaphor for the broad spectrum of experiences of a people in a place. Major themes in traditional Brooklyn-Jewish life food, tolerance, politics, pride, poverty, family pull together the shifting perspectives of this wonderful reference. The neighborhoods, shops, institutions and characters examined here are imbued with a tangible identity: Brighton Beach, for example, where hot knishes were sold to weary bathers spending the day playing handball, or Williamsburg, where Hasidim still parade righteously drunk through the streets on Purim. Many entries, such as PW publisher Fred Ciporen's intimate portrait of a family's thoughts "On Wisconsin," present Brooklyn as a self-contained realm that sees the rest of the world as another universe. From the deep happiness displayed in Eve Jochnowitz's essay on the making of shumra matzo for Passover to the deep passion of a seltzer man for his authentic product in Zachary Levin's contribution, Brooklyn Jewry's commitment to the details of its traditions is shown. Discussions of Danny Kaye, Murder Inc., Sam Ash and integrated clubs in the time of "separate but equal" foster an understanding of the borough's impact beyond its borders. Readers will be pulled in by an intoxicating nostalgia for this multifaceted locale's personality, even if they've never been there.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Abramovitch (Museum of Jewish Heritage) and Galvin (La Guardia Community Coll., CUNY) have edited a nostalgic yet clear-eyed account of the Jewish experience in Brooklyn, NY, over the course of the 20th century. Historians, scholars, and journalists explore the foundation of immigrant life in Brooklyn as overlapping waves of Eastern European Jews, Syrian Jews, Jews from Israel, and Holocaust survivors established colorful ethnic enclaves with shops and factories, synagogues, and schools. Brooklyn was the ideal of the American melting pot, but perhaps the Jews had the greatest impact on the borough's character. In turn, Brooklyn exerted a powerful influence on the Jews who lived in its neighborhoods, as made clear in short essays on everything from the similar accents heard in Bensonhurst and Borough Park to locally produced Jewish athletes and comedians.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Laura Silver is a native New Yorker and an award-winning journalist whose writing on food and culture has appeared in the New York Times, the Forward, the Jerusalem Report and on NPR.

Laura has been a writer in residence at the Millay Colony, the Banff Centre and the New York Public Library's Wertheim Study. She has received fellowships from the Lilly Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the New York Times Company Foundation and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, among others. She has delivered talks at international venues including the American Museum of Natural History, the Krakow Jewish Festival and TEDx.

In 2013, Laura was named the Barach Nonfiction Teaching Fellow at Wesleyan University's Writers Conference. Laura has been profiled in Haaretz and quoted by international news outlets including Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Gazeta Wyborcza (Warsaw) and The Jewish Chronicle (London). Al-Jazeera America featured her in a segment about the knish crisis of 2013.

Laura earned an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College (where she studied with Allan Ginsburg), a B.A. in French and Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst/ She has worked as an outreach worker to homeless people on the streets of New York, a United Nations tour guide and a sports correspondent at the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Laura has been on staff at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and UJA-Federation of New York and has taught writing at the City University of New York, the University of Virginia and in New York City public schools.

Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food, out from Brandeis University Press on May 6, 2014, is Laura's first book. In addition, she teaches "Jewish Food Through Song and Film" in the Department of Food Studies at the New School and is a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She lives in Brooklyn and is considered the world's leading expert on the knish.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joel Shatzky on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Jews of Brooklyn," ably edited by Ilana Abramovitch and Sean Galvin, paints a picture of a community that has been a major force of vitality and change in one of America's most diverse cities (Considered as separate from New York, Brooklyn would be the fourth largest city in terms of population.). The variety of memoirs, essays and vivid photos of life among immigrants arriving at the turn of the last century, the neighborhood life from Crown Heights to Borough Park and Park Slope, the lives of the religious and the secular: all give a broad, rich and high-quality profile of the cultural and intellectual climate of this fascinating borough. (As a native Bronxite, I only discovered Brooklyn recently and regret not having known of its abundant existence sooner.) This is a must-read for anyone interested not only in Brooklyn, but the history of the Jewish immigrants and their assimilation--or, in the case of the ultra-Orthodox separation--into the "Melting Pot." Of particular note are essays by Louis Menashe on his Sephardic background, Laura Greenberg's on "Street Games," the visual feast of "A Tour of Jewish Coney Island Avenue," by one of the editors, Sean Galvin, and the excellent series of interviews of Brooklynites by the other editor, Ilana Abramovitch.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contains a wide view of the Jewish culture of Brooklyn. The presentation was generally quite interesting. You can almost smell the knishes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun reading for a Brooklyn gal! I especially liked Paul Green's essay! It conveyed the flavor of the Brooklyn that shaped him.
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