Jewish Identities in Poland and America

The Impact of the Shoah on Religion and Ethnicity

Rejak, Sebastian

Jewish Identities in Poland and America sheds new light on the impact of the Holocaust (Shoah) upon two distinct, yet interrelated, Jewish diasporas. It explores how the awareness of the Shoah has affected the concepts of Judaism and Jewishness. The book demonstrates how the perception (and memory) of the Holocaust has been appropriated by Jews in Poland and America, and how it functions as a group identity and identification. It examines 'the Jewish way' of coping with the Shoah, and whether there is any one typical Jewish way. The book also demonstrates how being Jewish, or belonging to a specific ethnic religion (to some: irreligion), differs from the social experiences of many other groups and how the revival of Jewish community spirit, accompanied by a withdrawal from the world of traditional biblical faith, has led to the emergence of a new social paradigm: belonging without believing. Has Holocaust memory and imagery had its share in this phenomenon? Has it brought many to atheism? Do American Jews share the same experience with Polish Jews in this respect? Using a comparative approach, Jewish Identities in Poland and America explores these questions.

412 pages

Copyright: 1/26/2011