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Judaism Presentation #3

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John Crow

on 19 October 2011

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Transcript of Judaism Presentation #3

Judaism Presentation #3
Jews in American Revolution
Jews in America
Three main Divisions of Judaism
Issues with Identity
Jews in the Americas
Some of the earliestwere in NewEngland
Touro Synagogue, Newport, RI (1759)
Conversos with Columbus and Cortez
1654: First recorded Jews in North America, New Amsterdam
23 Jews came from Brazil because the Portuguese took Brazil from Dutch
Dutch West Indian Company, heavily depended on Jewish investments, blocked their expulsion from New Amsterdam
Jews in the Americas
Others in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA
Why these locations?
Jews in the Americas
By 1776 an estimated 2,000 Jews in America
Charleston, SC, almost every adult Jewish male fought on the American side of freedom
In Georgia, the first revolutionary killed was a Jew (Francis Salvador)
Jews provided significant financing for the patriots
Despite support, Jews discriminated against and prevented from voting and having positions of authority
During nineteenth century, Jews obtained more rights and began to assimilate
Frequently assimilation meant converting to Christianity or dropping Jewish practice
By the Twentieth century, Jews had immigrated in large numbers
They also began to take different strategies as to how to adapt to America
Orthodox-emphasize preserving Jewish tradition
Conservative-Intermediate position between Orthodox and reform
Reform-integration of Enlightenment views into Judaism. Transitioned Judaism into a cultural and religious identity that can be integrated with others
Alysa Stanton, first African-American female Rabbi. Ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH, June 6, 2009.
How do we construct our identities as individuals and in groups?
This book is about violence. It locates the origins of violence in identity formation, arguing that imagining identity as an act of distinguishing and separating from others, of boundary making and line drawing, is the most frequent and fundamental act of violence we commit. Violence is not only what we do to the Other. It is prior to that. Violence is the very construction of the Other. (5)
This process is tricky: on the one hand, the activity of people defining themselves as a group is negative, they are by virtue of who they are not. On the other hand, those outsiders—so needed for the very self-definition of those inside the group—are also regarded as a threat to them. (5)
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