The Enduring Community: The Jews of Newark and MetroWest

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1560003922
ISBN-10: 1560003928
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Editorial Reviews


“In this sociological study, Helmreich examines the ability of Newark's Jewish community to maintain its identity even after it had dispersed in the wake of urban decay to a ring of towns covering six counties west of the metropolitan center. He attributes endurance of religious-ethnic affiliation in new, decentralized settings to the strength of organizations left over from the original settlement, but he also questions the type of identity in the new environment. Helmreich views Jews as having struggled for equal opportunities to live, play, and work where they want and to be melded into a white, middle-class American consensus, but thereby losing their distinctive vitality as a community. He goes beyond the usual formula, however, by pointedly raising contemporary issues suggested by the Newark and MetroWest experience: attitudes toward intermarriage, loyalties to Israel, decline of neighborhood bonds, handling of tense intergroup relations, and organizational responses to Jewish diversification. He warns about the "bifurcation" of American Jewry into divergent poles of orthodox and unaffiliated and calls for a strong organizational response to educate and reconnect unaffiliated Jews. This book is not a narrow local history; rather, it is a broad social study inviting comparison and sober consideration of the future. All levels.” 

—S. J. Bronner, Choice

"In writing such a complete and warm account of Jewish Newark, Helmreich richly nourishes that nostalgia and raises interesting questions as to how to maintain and encourage solidarity in the face of assimilation and suburban life."

—Patricia M. Ard, American Jewish History

"I found William Helmreich's book on the history of Newark and its Jewish residents fascinating, especially since I was one of them for ten years. I recommend his book to everyone interested in the history of the Jewish community of Newark."

—Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City

About the Author

William B. Helmreich is professor of sociology at CUNY Graduate Center and City College of New York and served as director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College. He is author of eleven books, including The World of the Yeshiva: An Intimate Portrait of American Orthodoxy and Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives They Made in America, which won the 1993 National Jewish Book Award.

Product details

  • Hardcover : 327 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1560003928
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1560003922
  • Product Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.32 inches
  • Publisher : Transaction Publishers (September 30, 1998)
  • Item Weight : 1.65 pounds
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.6 out of 5 stars 7 ratings