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This title in other editions

A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish

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A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Christmas is not everybody’s favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America, whether participating in or refraining from recognizing Christmas, have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Their response is a mixed one: do we participate, try to ignore the holiday entirely, or create our own traditions and make the season an enjoyable time? This book, the first on the subject of Jews and Christmas in the United States, portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans.

Creative and innovative in approaching the holiday season, these responses range from composing America’s most beloved Christmas songs, transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas, creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve, volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day, dressing up as Santa Claus to spread good cheer, campaigning to institute Hanukkah postal stamps, and blending holiday traditions into an interfaith hybrid celebration called “Chrismukkah” or creating a secularized holiday such as Festivus.

Through these venerated traditions and alternative Christmastime rituals, Jews publicly assert and proudly proclaim their Jewish and American identities to fashion a universally shared message of joy and hope for the holiday season.

Review:

"Christmas is our only national holiday founded on religious beliefs, and Plaut, a rabbi and Jewish studies scholar, describes the multitude of creative rituals, activities, and responses Jews have developed to counteract feelings of marginalization and 'transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.' American Jews have succeeded in getting broad recognition of Hannukah with postage stamps, a White House menorah lighting, and the Empire State Building set alight in blue and white. As individuals, Jews embrace the season's family focus, but avoid Christmas-related activities, visiting Jewish museums, watching movies, and flock to Chinese restaurants on Christmas — a tradition that has spawned many parodies as well as San Francisco's Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, a highly popular evening of Jewish standup comedy at a Chinese restaurant. Volunteerism on Christmas has become an established tradition, with Jews distributing food, clothing, and toys to needy non-Jews, filling in for colleagues at work so they can celebrate the holiday, and even donning Santa suits at stores, hospitals, and other venues. Although traditionalists may see this book as a cautionary tale on assimilation, Plaut offers a quirky, provocative, yet solid study of contemporary Jewish behavior and emerging new forms of popular culture. Illus. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A Kosher Christmas portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans through unique and innovative responses, including transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas; creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve; volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day; and blending holiday traditions into an interfaith hybrid celebration of “Chrismukkah.”

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jonathan D. Sarna

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Coping with Christmas: A Multitude of Jewish Responses

1. Coming to the New World: Can the American Jew Keep Christmas?

2. Hanaukkah Comes of

Product Details

ISBN:
9780813553801
Author:
Plaut, Joshua Eli
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Author:
Plaut, Joshua
Author:
Sarna, Jonathan D.
Subject:
Christianity-Christmas
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
17 illustrations
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in
Age Level:
the New Jewish Christmas<BR><BR>3. We Eat Chinese

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » Jewish Studies
Religion » Christianity » Christmas
Religion » Judaism » General
Religion » Judaism » Observance and Holidays
Religion » Judaism » Thought and Culture

A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish New Trade Paper
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$22.95 In Stock
Product details 232 pages Rutgers University Press - English 9780813553801 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Christmas is our only national holiday founded on religious beliefs, and Plaut, a rabbi and Jewish studies scholar, describes the multitude of creative rituals, activities, and responses Jews have developed to counteract feelings of marginalization and 'transform Christmastime into a holiday season belonging to all Americans.' American Jews have succeeded in getting broad recognition of Hannukah with postage stamps, a White House menorah lighting, and the Empire State Building set alight in blue and white. As individuals, Jews embrace the season's family focus, but avoid Christmas-related activities, visiting Jewish museums, watching movies, and flock to Chinese restaurants on Christmas — a tradition that has spawned many parodies as well as San Francisco's Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, a highly popular evening of Jewish standup comedy at a Chinese restaurant. Volunteerism on Christmas has become an established tradition, with Jews distributing food, clothing, and toys to needy non-Jews, filling in for colleagues at work so they can celebrate the holiday, and even donning Santa suits at stores, hospitals, and other venues. Although traditionalists may see this book as a cautionary tale on assimilation, Plaut offers a quirky, provocative, yet solid study of contemporary Jewish behavior and emerging new forms of popular culture. Illus. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

A Kosher Christmas portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans through unique and innovative responses, including transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas; creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve; volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day; and blending holiday traditions into an interfaith hybrid celebration of “Chrismukkah.”

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