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Contents

Introduction
Jonathan Freedman and Sara Blair     1

Drashes

Merchants of Venice
Leonard Barkan     11

The Jew's House
Louis Simpson     16

Sephardic Culture and Me
Richard Kostelanetz     25

If Only: Finding America in Hasidism
Pearl Abraham     30

The Lower East Side Union of All the Shuls I Go To
Jonathan Boyarin     37

Of What Language, Pray, is "The American Mind?"
Martha Banta     48

A Eulogy
Stephen Greenblatt     58

Valley Boys
Gregory Orfalae     61

My Jewish Perversion
Bonnie Friedman     64

Don Rickles and Death
John Limon     74

A Gathering of Poems

The Material
Robert Pinsky     81

Eccentric Fractals (Isaiah, Math and Snow)
Jacqueline Osherow     84

The New World
Chana Bloch     90

"And the Darkness He Called Night"
Chana Bloch     91

Kol Nidrei: September 2001
Grace Schulman     92

The Messenger
Daniel Mark Epstein     94

Yom Hashoah in Florida
Rick Hilles     96

The Celebrity
Laurence Goldstein     99

The Lower Case Jew
Rodger Kamenetz     102

Essays, Stories, Histories

Jewish America through the Lens
Sara Blair     113

Intifada Diptych
Alisa Solomon     135

Israel and America: Revisioning History
Shira Wolosky     152

Playing the Angles
Sharon Pomerantz     164

Tea
Nancy Reisman     182

Is There a Jewish Text in This Class? Jewish Modernism in the Multicultural Academy
Julian Levinson     198

"Who's Jewish?": Some Asian-American Writers and the Jewish-American Literary Canon
Jonathan Freedman     214

Why America Has Not Seemed like Exile
Stephen J. Whitfield     239

Sign Under Test
Charles Bernstein     265

Contributors     272

Illustrations     following page 134

Description

"Jewish culture in America is creating a genuinely new archive---a powerful admixture of texts old and new, Jewish and gentile, sacred and secular, on which our writers and critics offer creative commentary and to which they make compelling response. Shaped in the American crucible of race and ethnicity, pushed and pulled by the American traditions of ahistorical and individualist thinking, empowered by a powerful sacramental and hermeneutic tradition yet challenged by that tradition's stunning variety of inflections, impelled to furious response by world crisis, these writers testify not only to the anguishing and joyous complexity of being Jewish in America, but the creative energies such multiplicity generates."
-From the Introduction

This rare and original work of cultural studies offers uncommon and engaging perspectives-as well as provocative and humorous insights-on what it means to be Jewish in America.

Jewish in America features poetry, art, essays, and stories from an impressive and respected list of contributors, including among others Stephen Greenblatt, Richard Kostelanetz, Jacqueline Osherow, Robert Pinsky, Sharon Pomerantz, Nancy Reisman, Grace Schulman, Louis Simpson, Alisa Solomon, and Stephen J. Whitfield.

In addition to pieces by some of the country's leading writers, the book features a stunning gallery of original photographs that transport the viewer from the crowded Coney Island beaches of the 1940s to the landscapes of Oaxaca, Mexico in the 1990s.

Sara Blair is Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

Jonathan Freedman is Professor of American Culture and English at the University of Michigan.