“Opens new avenues of discovery and inquiry into the Jewish experience. Spanning both the centuries and the diverse geography of the Jewish presence in the Americas, this volume provides the reader with a greater appreciation for the historical, political, and cultural forces that helped to shape societies on global and local levels.”—Darrell B. Lockhart, editor of Jewish Writers of Latin America: A Dictionary
“Brilliantly presents the richness of global links that Jews formed within the Americas and across the Atlantic. Uncovering barely known case studies, this book shows how Jews made the Americas their home while maintaining the conversation with other parts of the world.”—Mariusz Kalczewiak, author of Polacos in Argentina: Polish Jews, Interwar Migration, and the Emergence of Transatlantic Jewish Culture
Jewish Experiences across the Americas: Local Histories through Global Lenses explores the local specificities and global forces that shaped Jewish experiences in the Americas across five centuries. Featuring a range of case studies by scholars from the United States, Brazil, Europe, and Israel, it explores the culturally, religiously, and politically diverse lives of Jewish minorities in the Western Hemisphere.
The chapters are organized chronologically and trace four global forces: the western expansion of early modern European empires, Jewish networks across and beyond empires, migration, and Jewish activism and participation in international ideological movements. The volume weaves together into one narrative the histories of communities and individuals separated by time and space, such as the descendants of Portuguese converts, Moroccan immigrants to Brazil, and U.S.-based creators of Yiddish movies.
Through its transnational focus and close attention paid to local circumstances, this volume offers new insights into the multicultural pasts of the Americas’ Jewish populations and of the different regions that make up North, Central, and South America.
Katalin Franciska Rac is a historian and archivist who specializes in the modern history of Central European Jewry and their transnational connections. Lenny A. Ureña Valerio, associate director for program development in the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico, is the author of Colonial Fantasies, Imperial Realities: Race Science and the Making of Polishness on the Fringes of the German Empire, 1840-1920.
Publication of this work made possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.