Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of by Fred Rosenbaum

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By Fred Rosenbaum

Levi Strauss, A.L. Gump, Yehudi Menuhin, Gertrude Stein, Adolph Sutro, Congresswoman Florence Prag Kahn--Jewish humans were so enmeshed in existence in and round San Francisco that their tale is a chronicle of the city itself. because the Gold Rush, Bay zone Jews have countered stereotypes, operating as farmers and miners, boxers and mountaineers. They have been Gold Rush pioneers, Gilded Age tycoons, and revolutionary period reformers. advised via an excellent variety of characters and occasions, Cosmopolitans illuminates many features of Jewish existence within the region: the excessive profile of Jewish girls, outstanding achievements within the company global, the cultural creativity of the second one new release, the sour debate in regards to the right reaction to the Holocaust and Zionism, and lots more and plenty extra. Focusing in wealthy element at the first hundred years after the Gold Rush, the ebook additionally takes the tale as much as the current day, demonstrating how surprisingly powerful affinities for the humanities and for the fight for social justice have characterised this group at the same time it has replaced through the years. Cosmopolitans, set within the uncommonly varied Bay zone, is a really certain bankruptcy of the Jewish event in the United States.

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87 In the end, the congregation reluctantly engaged a rabbi far more traditional than it had wanted. 90 But with a swelling list of members, many of them now with wives and children, the board felt it could leave the pulpit vacant no longer. Because Eckman had spent three years in London as a teenager, his English was flawless, and it was expected his sermons would rival those of any American rabbi. To be sure, he had been born and raised in low-status Posen, but he had earned a doctorate from the University of Berlin, usually sufficient, in the minds of Bavarians, to turn a Posener from a “Polack” into a German.

On the title page of the congregation’s constitution appears “Organized 1851,” but the “1” is crudely changed to a “0” in a different hand and a differently colored ink (Minutes of Congregation Sherith Israel, in WJHC/JLMM). 16 c o s m o p o l i ta n s Moreover, in the tumultuous early 1850s the desire for acculturation was neither fully awakened nor clearly directed. On the frontier most Jews felt forced by necessity to relinquish many religious practices in their daily lives, but this did not preclude pioneers from founding synagogues that would put them back in touch with the old-world piety they had left behind not so long ago.

39 But most conspicuous were their clothing outlets, both retail and wholesale. By the mid-1850s one Jewish-owned textile warehouse stood next to another along Sacramento Street, in the heart of the business district. Just to the north, on Clay and Washington streets, were the smaller retail stores, called “cheap shops” or “Jew shops” (and, in the mining towns, “Jew slop shops”), even if owned by a Christian. ”40 But the rent on even the most modest storefront could be prohibitive, so many sold their goods from a tent, stall, or even a box on the street or wharf.

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