Jewish in America Vol. II
Edited by Sara Blair and Jonathan Freedman
This issue of MQR brings together academic essays, high-level journalism, personal narratives, fiction, poetry, and visual art responding to the transformations of Jewish experience in the United States during the last fifty years, and, speculatively, extending into the twenty-first century. It offers writings that respond to the multiplicity of representations, cultural forms, fashionings and refashionings, that have defined the experience of Jews in America and continue to compel debate. These include works by Jews and non-Jews that engage contemporary controversies in the fields of politics, sociocultural dynamics, the arts, and the relation of Jewish life in America to other historical periods, other geographical places.
Non-Fiction: Drashes, or short essays, on aspects of Jewish experience: Alix Kates Shulman on confronting anti-Semitism in her beach community in New England. Nicholas Delbanco‘s memoir of school days and Jewish initiative. Richard Kostelanetz on the neglect of Sephardic authors and artists. Tamar Barzel on the popularity of klezmer in America. Ilana Blumberg on growing up orthodox, intellectual, and conflicted about matters like wearing one’s own hair. Jonathan Freedman writes about the conflict of voices and ideas in Jewish-American history and culture. Alicia Ostriker measures the distance in two film adaptations from Exodus: The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt. Sharona Muir presents an exchange of letters and commentary to describe how her Israeli father came to America in the 1950s and made (or didn’t make) significant adjustments in understanding and attitude. Julian Levinson considers how American academic culture responded to, and influenced, the intellectual currents of Jewish life. Shira Wolosky takes up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of one who has taken up residence in Israel after living and teaching in America. Sara Blair chronicles the history of photography by Jews in America, focusing on some dozen careers and artworks that exemplify a Jewish inflection. A color portfolio of works follows, as well as a brief commentary by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson about her selection of images from an exhibition featuring depictions of Hanukkah.
Poetry: Judith Baumel, Chana Bloch, Rick Hilles, A. M. Juster, Rodger Kamenetz, and David Lehman.
Fiction: Misha Angrist, Eliot Krieger, Nancy Reisman.