New York City, the Jews, and “The Urban Experience”

Lederhendler Eli

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry an Annual XV 1999

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195134681
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848652 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

New York City, the Jews, and “The Urban Experience”

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This chapter argues that it is only the Jewish neighborhood that has been cast in the Jewish imagination as an urban Jewish space, as if not much about the urban experience is pertinent to Jewish social history once we have stepped outside the residential or occupational ethnic niche. With the exception of New York City, no city as a whole has been imagined as a Jewish space: a “home,” in the way that a shtetl or neighborhood is conceived as a home. The fact that urban space as such is not “worthy” of historicizing or folklorizing in the modern Jewish imagination is reflected in the virtual lack of Jewish monuments in American cities.

Keywords: Jews; Jewish Americans; shtetl; social history; Jewish monuments; urban space

Chapter.  10382 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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