Yale University Press
While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of American Jewish identity and how Jews fit today into larger discourses of race, ethnicity, and religion. Featuring ten photographic and video projects by emerging and mid-career artists, all commissioned by The Jewish Museum, the book presents a range of provocative discussions of the nature of Jewish identity in 21st-century America.
Susan Chevlowe discusses how the artists explore individual communities to dispel stereotypes of contemporary Jewish life, and Ilan Stavans dissects the diversity of American Jews over the last century. In illuminating interviews with the artists, Joanna Lindenbaum provides insights into their ideas and methods. A beautifully illustrated portfolio of each of the commissioned works immerses the viewer in a distinctive community, revealing complex and often surprising ways in which Jewish Americans grapple with their identity.
• Dawoud Bey
• Tirtza Even and Brian Karl
• Rainer Ganahl
• Nikki S. Lee
• Yoshua Okon
• Jaime Permuth
• Andrea Robbins and Max Becher
• Shari Rothfarb and Avishai Mekonen
• Jessica Shokrian
• Chris Verene
About the Author
SUSAN CHEVLOWE and JOANNA LINDENBAUM are independent curators. ILAN STAVANS is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College.