The definitive history of Jews in New York and how they transformed the city
Jewish New York reveals the multifaceted world of one of the city’s most important ethnic and religious groups.
Jewish immigrants changed New York. They built its clothing industry and constructed huge swaths of apartment buildings. New York Jews helped to make the city the center of the nation’s publishing industry and shaped popular culture in music, theater, and the arts. With a strong sense of social justice, a dedication to civil rights and civil liberties, and a belief in the duty of government to provide social welfare for all its citizens, New York Jews influenced the city, state, and nation with a new wave of social activism.
In turn, New York transformed Judaism and stimulated religious pluralism, Jewish denominationalism, and contemporary feminism. The city’s neighborhoods hosted unbelievably diverse types of Jews, from Communists to Hasidim. Jewish New York not only describes Jews’ many positive influences on New York, but also exposes their struggles with poverty and anti-Semitism. These injustices reinforced an exemplary commitment to remaking New York into a model multiethnic, multiracial, and multireligious world city.
Based on the acclaimed multi-volume set City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York winner of the National Jewish Book Council 2012 Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award, Jewish New York spans three centuries, tracing the earliest arrival of Jews in New Amsterdam to the recent immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union.
"A definitive look at how Jewish New Yorkers and New York City shaped each other. The lively narrative begins in the 17th century, with the arrival of the first Jews in North America, and runs through 2015. This is the best kind of popular history: one that does not sacrifice nuance or detail for accessibility."
—STARRED Publishers Weekly
"This survey of Jewish New York is a valuable contribution to Jewish literature, and the appended visual essay is an added bonus. An epic story of a people who have been, and remain, central to the life of New York City."
—Kirkus Review"A dramatic telling of our tale, looking at New York as a home to Jews who came at different times, from different places, who made their different ways in the city and significantly made the city in the process. The book takes a fierce look at questions of national origin, class, language, work and wealth, explains what it means to be Jewish in New York, what the roots are of the city’s diversity, and how Jews grew in and with New York over more than 300 years."
—Ruth Messinger, Former Manhattan Borough President
"Jewish New York deftly combines crisp writing, sharp analysis and sophisticated discussions of visual images to explore the evolving relationship between a world city and its Jews. Reaching from the seventeenth century to the present, and weaving together big themes and illuminating lives, the book delves into topics as varied as religion, politics, popular culture and gender. Essential for understanding both Jewish experiences and the broad contours of New York’s history."
—Robert W. Snyder, author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City
"Deborah Dash Moore has provided a magisterial history of the Jews of New York. A hub of both American and Jewish innovation, New York’s bustling metropolis became home to millions of Jews. New York gave Jewish life a distinct character, even as Jews helped to shape the essence of the city. This fascinating study explores the streets, synagogues, politics, and organizations of New York Jewry as well as its diverse cultural expressions. Moore’s mastery of New York Jewish history and deep knowledge of the urban rhythms of the city shine through on every page."
—Beth S. Wenger, Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania