Not Quite at Home: How an American Jewish Community lives with itself and its neighbors

By Marshall Sklare, Joseph Greenblum, Benjamin B. Ringer

American Jewish Committee (AJC), 1969

Today, the direction of Jewish life in America is a matter of neither mystery nor prophecy. The Jew is no longer an immigrant at the bottom of the social and economic ladder, facing an ambiguous future, but a suburban citizen who looks, lives and works just about the way his Christian neighbor does. How far have the permissiveness and openness of American society eroded the American Jew's group identity? Just what is the nature of Jewish identity in present-day America? Do Jews seek above all to integrate themselves into the prevailing culture? Or do they have any desire for the culture of their grandparents and for traditional Jewish values? If a new kind of "Americanized Jewishness" is being practiced in the nation's suburbs, what are its customs and its prospects for the future? And, since the Jew is still a newcomer to suburbia, how is he viewed by the gentile majority? To find the answers to these questions, a team of researchers placed the town of Lakeville (not its real name) under the microscope. At the time of the study, Lakeville's 25,000 inhabitants included a Jewish community of about 8,000 persons. The Jewish group was characterized by a high percentage of people with college and postgraduate degrees, upward social mobility, and a striking level of "culture consumption." It consisted mainly of families with school-age children, which meant that parents faced the immediate, concrete problems of transferring values - Jewish or otherwise - to a new generation.

Topic: Jewish-Christian Relations, Congregations and Synagogues, Jewish Identification, Community Relations, Demography, Affiliation, Religion, Assimilation, Synagogues and Congregations

Name of Publication: Institute of Human Relations Press-Pamphlet Series

Editor: Kaufer, Sonya F.

Volume/Issue: 11

Page Number(s): 1--95

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Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Sklare, Marshall. Greenblum, Joseph. Ringer, Benjamin B. Not Quite at Home: How an American Jewish Community lives with itself and its neighbors. Institute of Human Relations Press-Pamphlet Series. American Jewish Committee (AJC). 1969: 1--95.


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