Download Frankfurt on the Hudson: The German Jewish Community of by Steven M. Lowenstein PDF

By Steven M. Lowenstein

The 20,000 German Jews who fled Hitler's Germany and settled in Washington Heights have been strange in lots of methods. They preserved their Jewish identification whereas fostering a tradition that was once nonetheless seriously German-a tough mixture in gentle in their origins.

In his examine of this immigrant team, Steven Lowenstein strives for extra chronicle in their associations and leaders. He analyzes either the social constitution of the group and the people tradition of the immigrants. He offers with such matters because the formal nature of German Jewish cultural kind, the relationships among the generations, and intergroup relatives. utilizing organizational announcements, surveys, interviews, and private observations and anecdotes, Lowenstein paints an image of a special way of life now within the strategy of merging into American Jewry and disappearing.

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Additional resources for Frankfurt on the Hudson: The German Jewish Community of Washington Heights, 1933-1983, Its Structure and Culture

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Until about 1960 the main boundary line was the one 42 MAPS. PARKLAND IN WASHINGTON HEIGHTS-INWOOD. 3 between the wealthier sections west of Broadway and the less well-off ones to the east. As the social divisions became mixed with racial ones, the southern areas, which acquired Hispanic and black residents before the northern ones, also lost in social prestige. 22), and the much more depressed area east of Broadway between 165th Street and 181st Street (Health Area 4). This difference was already marked in 1940, continued unabated in 1970 and was still noticeable even in 1980 after all of Washington Heights had undergone a considerable social decline (Table 1).

In the German context this meant modifying the liturgy introducing organ music and some vernacular prayers, and easing the Sabbath regulations and many other Jewish practices. Compared to American Reform Judaism, the practice of German Liberal Judaism was rather traditional. It retained (in most cases) separate seating for men and women (though without a physical barrier between them), covered heads and prayer shawls for men, and a good deal of Hebrew in the service. It is difficult to say how many German Jews could be classified as liberal Jews and how many as indifferent; in some cases it would even be difficult to delineate exactly where the line was to be drawn.

The relative ease with which women found work compared to their husbands often put additional strain on families used to the patriarchal structure of European bourgeois families. Although many families were supported, at least at first, by menial work, this pattern was not the only one or even the predominant one. Many found work in factories, especially during the war when there was a labor shortage. Some of them joined unions and continued in their jobs even after the war. Quite a number of German-Jewish soldiers, returning from the American army after World War II, also entered blue-collar employment.

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