Jewish American Heritage Month Reading List

In May 2023, hundreds of organizations around the U.S. will join together to help Americans of all backgrounds discover, explore, and celebrate the vibrant and varied American Jewish experience from the dawn of our nation to the present day. Join us in honoring Jewish Americans via these timely and varied publications.

With Freedom in Our Ears: Histories of Jewish Anarchism

Edited by Anna Elena Torres and Kenyon Zimmer

With Freedom in Our Ears brings together more than a dozen scholars and translators to write the first collaborative history of international, multilingual, and transdisciplinary Jewish anarchism.

Journal of American Folklore

Thorns into Gold: Contemporary Jewish American Responses to Antisemitism in Traditional Fairy Tales” by Veronica Schanoes

This essay considers the responses of Jewish writers to the antisemitic fairy tale “The Jew in the Thornbush,” as well as to readings that locate antisemitism in “Rumpelstiltskin,” by analyzing four contemporary stories by Jewish writers Naomi Novik, Veronica Schanoes, and Jane Yolen.

Dyed in Crimson: Football, Faith, and Remaking Harvard’s America

Zev Eleff

Zev Eleff tells the story of two immigrants’ sons shaped by a vision of an America that rewarded any person of virtue. As a player, the Chicago-born Horween had led Harvard to its 1920 Rose Bowl victory. As a coach, he faced intractable opposition from powerful East Coast alumni because of his values and midwestern, Jewish background. Eleff traces Bingham and Horween’s careers as student-athletes and their campaign to wrest control of the football program from alumni. He also looks at how Horween undermined stereotypes of Jewish masculinity and dealt with the resurgent antisemitism of the 1920s.

Journal of American Ethnic History

The Occupational Turn in American Jewish History” by David S. Koffman 

In this review essay, David S. Koffman analyzes Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way by Hasia R. Diner and The Rag Race: How Jews Sewed Their Way to Success in America and the British Empire by Adam D. Mendelsohn. These books are “social histories that take making a living as fundamental to the story of Jewish demographic overhaul, political culture, and religious adjustment.”

About Kristina Stonehill