Modernity offers people choices about who they want to be and how they want to appear to others. The way in which Jews choose to frame their identity establishes the dynamic of their social relations with other Jews and non-Jews - a dynamic complicated by how non-Jews position the boundaries around what and who they define as Jewish. This book uncovers these processes, historically, as well as in contemporary behavior, and finds explanations for the various manifestations, in feeling and action, of 'being Jewish.' Boundaries and borders raise fundamental questions about the difference between Jews and non-Jews. At root, the question is how 'Jewish' is understood in social situations where people recognize or construct boundaries between their own identity and those of others. The question is important because this is by definition the point at which the lines of demarcation between Jews and non-Jews, and between different groupings of Jews, are negotiated. Collectively, the contributors to the book expand our understanding of the social dynamics of framing Jewish identity. The book opens with an introduction that locates the issues raised by the contributors in terms of the scholarly traditions from which they have evolved. Part I presents four essays dealing with the construction and maintenance of boundaries - two by scholars showing how boundaries come to be etched on an ethnic landscape and two by activists who question and adjust distinctions among neighbors. Part II focuses on expressive means of conveying identity and memory, while, in Part III, the discussion turns to museum exhibitions and festive performances as locations for the negotiation of identity in the public sphere. A lively discussion forum concludes the book with a consideration of the paradoxes of Jewish heritage revival in Poland, and the perception of that revival by Jews and non-Jews. *** ..".these essays help us understand the social dynamics of Jewish identity and how identity is constructed in modern life." -- AJL Reviews, February/March 2015 (Series: Jewish Cultural Studies - Vol. 4) [Subject: Jewish Studies, Cultural Studies]
Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished University Professor of American Studies and Folklore at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, where he was founding director of the campus's Holocaust and Jewish Studies Center.
Note on Transliteration Introduction: Framing Jewish Culture ? ? Simon J. Bronner PART I: BOUNDARY CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE 1? Representing Jewish Culture: The Problem of Boundaries ? ? Jonathan Webber 2? Trickster's Children: Genealogies of Jewishness in Anthropology ? ? Jonathan Boyarin 3? Selective Inclusion: Integration and Isolation of Jews in Medieval Civic Space ? ? Samuel D. Gruber 4? The Question of Hasidic Sectarianism ? ? Marcin Wodzinski PART II: NARRATING AND VISUALIZING JEWISH RELATIONSHIPS 5? Framing Father--Son Relationships in Medieval Ashkenaz: Folk Narratives as Markers of Cultural Difference ? ? Magdalena Luszczynska 6? Sites of Collective Memory in Narratives of the Prague Ghetto ? ? Rella Kushelevsky 7? Wearing Many Hats: The Boundaries of Hair-Covering Practices by Orthodox Jewish Women in Amish Country ? ? Amy Milligan 8? Chronic Dissatisfaction: Negative Interfaith Romances and the Reassertion of Jewish Difference ? ? Holly Pearse PART III: EXHIBITIONS AND PERFORMANCES OF JEWISH CULTURE 9? `The Night of the Orvietani' and the Mediation of Jewish and Italian Identities ? ? Steve Siporin 10? Jewish Museums: Performing the Present through Narrating the Past ? ? David Clark 11? Framing Jewish Identity in the Museum of Moroccan Judaism ? ? Sophie Wagenhofer 12? The Framing of the Jew: Paradigms of Incorporation and Difference in the Jewish Heritage Revival in Poland ? ? Magdalena Waligorska PART IV: HOW REAL IS THE EUROPEAN JEWISH REVIVAL? 13? Beyond Virtual Jewishness: Monuments to Jewish Experience in Eastern Europe ? ? Ruth Ellen Gruber 14? Unsettling Encounters: Missing Links of European Jewish Experience and Discourse ? ? Francesco Spagnolo 15? Virtual Transitioning into Real: Jewishness in Central Eastern Europe ? ? Annamaria Orla-Bukowska 16? Virtual, Virtuous, Vicarious, Vacuous? Toward a Vigilant Use of Labels ? ? Erica Lehrer 17? Response ? ? Ruth Ellen Gruber Contributors Index