Synopses & Reviews
On September 19, 1934, Hank Greenberg--a powerful hitter who led the American League in home runs four times--refused to play for his team, the Detroit Tigers. Instead he chose to observe the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. On that day he put his identity as a Jew over the most American sport, and the Tigers' fans rallied behind his decision. This story is an excellent example of the way America has embraced Judaism, along with a number of other religions, as an important element in our diverse religious make-up.
A chronicle of Jewish life in the United States--from the arrival of 23 Jews in the New World in 1654, through the centuries of religious intolerance and social injustice, and on to the separation of American Jewry into Orthodox and Reform movements--Jews in America reconstructs the multifaceted background and very American adaptations of this religious group. Hasia Diner supplies intriguing details about Jewish religious traditions, holidays and sacred texts: bar mitzvahs and seder dinners, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana, the Talmud and the Torah. In addition, she relates the history of Jewish religious, political, and intellectual institutions in the United States, from The Daily Forward newspaper and the synagogues in New York's Lower East Side to the Jewish Defense League and the Holocaust Museum in Washington. The book tackles the biggest issues facing Jewish Americans today, including their increasingly complex relationship with Israel.
"Begins in 1654 with the arrival of 23 Jews in New Amsterdam and follows the changes in Jewish-American life up to the present day.... Clear and lively. A host of archival photos and reproductions enhance the presentation. The author does a good job of explaining the basic tenets of Judaism... The glossary, index, chronology, and suggestions for further reading are useful for reports, but the tone of the narrative is conducive to pleasure reading as well."--School Library Journal
"Concise overview... informative history... This panoramic view of Jewish American history will interest and inform teen readers and researchers."--Booklist
"An excellent Afikoman gift for the teen or young adult at the seder... Photographs and an attractive design invite both perusal and more in-depth reading... Diner...writes in a clear style that pulls together that diverse entity known as the American Jewish community."--The Chicago Jewish Star
"Tells the fascinating story of how an ancient faith, despite trials, flourished and was reshaped in a new land..."--The Christian Science Monitor
"Diner... addresses political and religious change with an unusual combination of clarity and complexity.... A good textbook provides the outlines of a broad history while laying the foundations for more detailed study. Jews in America does both very well. The book incorporates most of the figures, and many of the primary texts, that a student would encounter in a college-level survey of American Jewish history, yet it is neither convoluted nor cluttered. [It]... would also complement and enrich a more general class on American history or American ethnicity."--Religious Studies in Secondary Schools
Read the complete review at http://www.rsiss.org/bkdiner.html