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Kosher Feijoada and Other Paradoxes of Jewish Life in Sao Paulo (New World Diasporas) Hardcover – April 15, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Kosher Feijoada' is not just a book for Brazilians or Jews. It is an interesting book for historians, social scientists, social psychologists, other researchers and students who are interested in investigating identity and it is above all a universal proof of how ethnic and national identities may be intrinsically linked." - Juliana Barbosa Lins de Almeida, Ethnic and Racial Studies

"...Klein's study...is not insulated in the field of Jewish studies...[It] is an invitation for reflection about how the study of Jewish identities in Brazil can be shown to be a fertile and alternative path for the understanding of the strength of certain values and markers of Brazilianness...Klein's study is an important starting point for a new sensitivity to identities that may reorganize the field of Jewish studies in Brazil with new questions, new themes, new sources, and new problems." - Monica Grin, H-Judaic/H-Net Reviews

"As a Brazilian Jew from that city..., I can testify without a shade of a doubt that Misha Klein did a thorough portrayal of my fellow countrymen...[She] treated the themes here included with anthropological rigor and balanced humor, both monitored by a spirit of awe that makes the apparent paradoxes found in São Paulo's Jewry a stimulating study.  The analytical approach and assessment of the variety of activities of Jews in Brazil... make this book-length study very valuable for all interested in cultural anthropology and Jewish matters in Latin America." - Regina Igel, Shofar.

Book Description

“The special strength of this book, aside from its lyrical writing, is that the author effortlessly blends the meaning of being Jewish in Brazil with that country’s much noted racial and cultural tolerance and shows how Jewish identity is impacted by Brazilian concepts of race and ethnicity. It is a delight to read.”—Maxine Margolis, University of Florida

 

“A fascinating ethnography of contemporary life among middle- and upper-middle class Jews in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the world’s largest cities. Although representing a tiny fraction of Brazil’s multicultural population, the Jewish community consciously creates and carefully maintains a tightly organized, lively haven in a chaotic urban center, while also embracing much of Brazil’s national culture.”—Robin Sheriff, University of New Hampshire

 

Being Jewish in Brazil—the world’s largest Catholic country—is fraught with paradoxes, and living in São Paulo only amplifies these vivid contradictions. The metropolis is home to Jews from over 60 countries of origin, and to the Hebraica, the world’s largest Jewish athletic and social club.

            Jewish identity is rooted in layered experiences of historical and contemporary dispersal and border crossings. Brazil is famously tolerant of difference but less understanding of longings for elsewhere. Celebrating both Carnival and the High Holidays is but one example of how Jews in São Paulo hold themselves together as a community in the face of the forces of assimilation.

            Misha Klein’s fascinating ethnography reveals the complex intertwining of Jewish and Brazilian life and identity.

 

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Product Details

  • Series: New World Diasporas
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida (April 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813039878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813039879
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,236,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S.L. on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Misha Klein's insightful and sensitive study on Jewish culture and identity in Brazil is an important addition to both Jewish diaspora studies and the anthropology of Brazil. With an especial focus on the Jews of São Paulo, Klein examines how Brazilian Jews construct and negotiate their identities in one of the world's most Catholic countries. She creates a lively and compelling narrative about how Jewish immigrants created a common Brazilian Jewish identity through the establishment of primarily secular social and athletic institutions, embracing Portuguese, and briads the strands of mainstream Brazilian culture into Jewish cultural practices (Carnaval and Purim come immediately to mind). The portrait painted is of a dynamic and evolving community and should be read by anyone interested in the diversity of Jewish practice and experience.
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