Connected Jews

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Connected Jews



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How Jews use media to connect with one another has profound consequences for Jewish identity, community, and culture. This volume explores how the use of media can both create communities and divide them because of how different media shape actions and project anxieties, conflicts, and emotions. Taken together, the essays presented here consider how Jewish use of media at home and in the street, as well as in the synagogue and in school, affects the individual’s sense of ethnic and religious affiliation. They include closely observed case studies, in various national contexts, of the role of popular film, television, records, the Internet, and smartphones, as well as the role of print media, now and historically. They raise fascinating questions about how Jews and Jewish institutions harness, tolerate, or resist media to create their sense of social belonging as Jews within the wider society.

Author Information

Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore and Founding Director of the Center for Holocaust and Jewish Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. He is also the convener of the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section of the American Folklore Society. His books include Folklore: The Basics (2017) and Explaining Traditions: Folk Behavior in Modern Culture (2011). Caspar Battegay is a lecturer at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and a member of the Young Academy of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction: Media, Mediation, and Jewish Community
Simon J. Bronner and Caspar Battegay
Part I. The Impact of Texts on, and in, Jewish Community
1. Sixteenth-Century Jewish Makers of Printed Books and the Shaping of Late Renaissance Jewish Literacy
Pavel Sládek
2. Settings of Silver: The Feminization of the Jewish Sabbath, 1920--1945
Amy K. Milligan
3. Contemporary Israeli Midrash and the Construction of a Dialogic Intragroup Discourse
Tsafi Sebba-Elran
Part II. Media, Performance, and Popular Discourse in the Formation of Jewish Community
4. The Jewish Atlantic: Diaspora and Popular Music
Caspar Battegay
5. The Hidden Legacies of Jewish Traditions and the Global Allure of Psychotherapy: A Case Study of the Israeli TV Series Betipul
Diana L. Popescu
6. Propagating Modern Jewish Identity in Madagascar: A Contextual Analysis of One Community’s Discursive Strategies
Nathan P. Devir
7. Telling Jokes: Connecting and Separating Jews in Analogue and Digital Culture
Simon J. Bronner
Part III. Virtual Spaces for Jews in a Digital Age
8. Going Online to Go ‘Home’: Yizkor Books, Cyber-Shtetls, and Communities of Location
Rachel Leah Jablon
9. The Second Life of Judaism: A History of Religious Community and Practice in Virtual Spaces
Julian Voloj and Anthony Bak Buccitelli
10. Rethinking Jewishness in Networked Publics: The Case of Post-Communist Hungary
Anna Manchin