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.
About the Author
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
Note on Transliteration xi
Introduction: Media, Mediation, and Jewish Community Simon J. Bronner Caspar Battegay 1
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 45
2 Settings of Silver: The Feminization of the Jewish Sabbath, 1920-1945 Amy K. Milligan 69
3 Social Tensions and Cultural Encounters in Contemporary Israeli Midrash Tsafi Sebba-Elran 89
Part II Media, Performance, and Popular Discourse in the Formation of Jewish Community
4 The Jewish Atlantic: Diaspora and Pop Music Caspar Battegay 109
5 The Hidden Legacies of Jewish Traditions and the Global Allure of Psychotherapy: A Case Study of the Israeli TV Series Betipul Diana I. Popescu 131
6 Propagating Modern Jewish Identity in Madagascar: A Contextual Analysis of One Community's Discursive Strategies Nathan P. Devir 149
7 Telling Jokes: Connecting and Separating Jews in Analogue and Digital Culture Simon J. Bronner 181
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 215
9 The Second Life of Judaism: A History of Religious Community and Practice in Virtual Spaces Julian Voloj Anthony Bak Buccitelli 235
10 Rethinking Jewishness in Networked Publics: The Case of Post-Communist Hungary Anna Manchin 261