Hanukkah in America
New York UP 2013
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Jewish StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network May 31, 2016 Shira Kohn
In Hanukkah in America: A History (New York University Press, 2013), Dianne Ashton, professor of Religion Studies at Rowan University, delves into the history of Hanukkah in the United States to illuminate how successive generations of American Jews used the holiday to project their hopes and fears about Judaism’s survival in America. Through analyzing an impressive range of source materials including rabbinic sermons, etchings of 19th century communal pageants, and contemporary flyers advertising latke flavor varieties, Ashton demonstrates Hanukkah’s malleability in the observances of American Judaism’s leaders and laity, which enabled the holiday – historically considered a minor festival – to become an integral part of the Jewish calendar year.