By Melissa R. Klapper
Jewish women Coming of Age in the USA, 1860—1920 attracts on a wealth of archival fabric, a lot of which hasn't ever been published—or even read—to remove darkness from the ways that Jewish ladies’ adolescent studies mirrored better concerns on the subject of gender, ethnicity, faith, and education.
Klapper explores the twin roles women performed as brokers of acculturation and guardians of culture. Their look for an identification as American ladies that may now not require the abandonment of Jewish culture and tradition reflected the fight in their households and groups for integration into American society.
While targeting their lives as women, now not the adults they might later turn into, Klapper attracts at the papers of such figures as Henrietta Szold, founding father of Hadassah; Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Showboat; and Marie Syrkin, literary critic and Zionist. Klapper additionally analyzes the diaries, memoirs, and letters of 1000's of different women whose later lives and reports were misplaced to history.
Told in an enticing sort and packed with colourful prices, the ebook brings to existence a missed staff of interesting ancient figures in the course of a pivotal second within the improvement of gender roles, youth, and the fashionable American Jewish community.
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Additional info for Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920
38 | “Any Other Girls . . Like Myself” More than any aspect of her life, her unmarried state prompted Fannie to turn to prayer. ” Her sense of God’s presence in her life was palpable, and she used these diary entries to reaffirm her faith. ” Her religious tendencies led her to greater belief in God, even when her prayers seemed unanswered. 45 She carefully observed the Sabbath and reproached herself for transgressions such as visiting the Centennial Exposition grounds on a Saturday in 1876. Clinging to traditional observance may have been her way of dealing with her own difficulties in marrying and establishing a conventional Jewish household.
8 A minority of the writers argued that American identity should come first for American Jewish girls, even while admitting the difficulties. As Minnie D. ” “In our land,” she continued, “the entire atmosphere is changed,” and American influence would inevitably be the most important factor in any girls’ coming of age. Yet any author writing in 1890 could not help but be aware of the beginnings of a massive wave 22 | “Any Other Girls . . 10 As the symposium both consciously and unconsciously made clear, identity for American Jewish girls was no simple thing to explain or examine, let alone prioritize.
Their Jewish identities provided a solid, reassuring anchor as they coped with the demands of becoming modern American girls. Because of the stability of Jewish tradition, if not ritual observance, Jewish girls frequently relied on religion as a fundamental answer to their adolescent searches for identity. They developed not only ties to their ethnic and religious community but also individual relationships to God and to Judaism that heightened their sense of self and invested their lives with meaning.