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To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. 1st Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0029221112
ISBN-10: 0029221110
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Joining the great postwar migrations from the Northeast and the Midwest to Los Angeles and Miami were large numbers of Jews from Chicago and New York. Cut loose from their ties to the old European religious cultures of their families, these "permanent tourists," as Moore calls them, created a new and distinctly American Jewish identity, colored by the comparably free-wheeling, easy life around them in their new Edens. Regular attendance at religious services and observation of ritual customs met with strong competition from sun and sea; some rabbis felt obliged to hold a congregation together by promoting the Sabbath services as "entertainment." Moore, director of Vassar College's Program in American Culture, details Jewish life minutely in Miami and Los Angeles; the loss of a traditional Jewish sense of identity, and its ultimate reconstitution in the establishment of Israel; and the constant presence of anti-Semitism, which could, paradoxically, serve to reunify. Although often overwhelmed by documentation of such trivia as the name of the manager of the gift shop of a Miami synagogue, Moore's study is nevertheless a notable depiction of the social, political and religious experiences of the two migratory streams.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Moore (Vassar Coll.) has used the prisms of Miami and Los Angeles to reflect the transformation of American Jewry. Crammed with solid documentation, yet written in a fluid, readable style, her book identifies the factors and trends that led to fundamental changes in the American Jewish community in the decades following World War II. Moore uses the metaphor of the "permanent tourist" to describe the initial reaction of the Jews who migrated from the Northeast and large Midwestern cities, attracted by the climate, the casual lifestyle, and the lack of established norms. Responding to their new environment, they chose to express themselves in new ways that both identified an ethnic Jewishness and promoted rapid integration into the surrounding American culture. This seminal work will be widely read.
- Carol R. Glatt, VA Medical Ctr. Lib., Philadelphia
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st edition (March 14, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029221110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029221112
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on September 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Parts of this book were interesting- I especially liked the first couple of chapters, where Moore shows how explosively the Jewish community in Miami and Los Angeles grew, and why these cities were so attractive to American Jews. She also tries to explain why Jewish-black cooperation was so common; in Miami Beach, both were fighting against similar types of housing discrimination, and Jews had no convincing reason to oppose fair housing for blacks while opposing it for themselves. (Although it is not clear why Los Angeles Jews adopted similar political views when they seem to have had far less discrimination to contend with).

But much of the middle of the book includes a lot of blow-by-blow community history; I'm not sure how interesting this discussion would be for people who didn't live in Miami or Los Angeles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RLM on May 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have often wondered how DID my family end up in Miami, (via Brooklyn/Midwest) and this book (as I am unable to rely of oral history from my family)
is the missing link! No bookshelf should be without it...really!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Moore offers a case study of Miami and LA in parallels that emphasize the migration patterns and development of Jewish life in these major cities after the second world war.
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By Lois Blume on March 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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