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USING AREA STUDIES COLLECTIONS
CASE STUDIES: AMERICAN JEWISH WOMEN AND LATINAS
AREA STUDIES EXTERNAL SITES
|Jewish Newspapers and Periodicals
The Jewish press in the United States has appeared primarily in English and Yiddish but has also sustained publications in Hebrew, German, Ladino, and Russian. No single catalog or list represents the Library's holdings of the Jewish press. Readers must consult both the online catalogs and the Hebraic section catalogs located in the African and Middle Eastern Reading Room. In addition, readers should consult with the appropriate area specialist and reference librarians in order to definitively ascertain the status of specific titles (see Serial and Government Publications for more information about newspapers and how to locate them).
The major nineteenth-century American Jewish newspaper was the Israelite (later known as American Israelite), founded by Reform rabbi Isaac M. Wise (1854-; AP92.A55 fol GenColl, LC has 1854-1945 and current issues in hard copy, incomplete; News MF 3131, N&CPR). Characteristic of the Anglo-Jewish press, it offered local, national, and international news, editorials, feature articles, and general serialized fiction. Ellen Price Wood's Lady Adelaide's Oath (1877) and Amelia Edward's Debenham's Vow (1879) were two fictional works it presented in serialized form.
In the twentieth century, Jewish communal weeklies such as the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent (1887-; AP92.J5 fol GenColl; LC has 1917-44 and current issues in hard copy, incomplete; Microfilm [o] 94/4593 MicRR) added more local news. Their reports on synagogues and their auxiliary sisterhoods and religious schools and their coverage of benevolent organizations and local chapters of national Jewish women's groups have provided an important source for the study of women and culture. Deborah (1855-1903, title varies; AP93.D5 fol GenColl; LC has 1876-1900 in hard copy; News MF 3131, N&CPR), the German-language weekly (and then monthly) supplement to the Israelite, was the most notable publication created to serve the German-Jewish immigrants who arrived in the United States in increasing numbers in the mid-nineteenth century. Its focus was on a female readership interested in the home, school, and community.
Yiddish-language newspapers have been the largest and most influential arm of the Jewish press. The golden age of Yiddish journalism peaked in 1915-16 when five dailies in New York City alone boasted a circulation of five hundred thousand readers—many of whom were women. The Hebraic Section holds microform of the major American Yiddish newspapers that expressed the new immigrants' idealistic yearnings even as they moved headlong into full citizenship.
In addition to national and international news, the papers devoted considerable space to labor issues—especially strikes in the garment industry, which employed a great number of women—and to efforts to improve the conditions of all workers. From 1923 to 1927, during a period of rivalry with communists, the anarchist group within the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America published the Yiddish-language newspaper Der Yunyon arbayter (The union worker) (1925-27, HD6515.C6 Y86, RBSC). Di Fraye arbeter shtime (The free voice of labor) (1890-1977, HX821.F65 Avrich Coll RBSC; microfilm, Hebr), the Yiddish-language anarchist monthly, provided a forum for female writers and poets. Archival materials about it, as well as the records of the anarchist farm colonies in New Jersey, comprising mostly Jews, a number of them women, can be found in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division Pamphlet Collections section.
Among the New York Yiddish dailies, the foremost newspaper that supported both social activism and Americanization was the Forverts (Jewish daily forward) (1897-; AMED retains current issues in hard copy; AMED/Hebr microfilm 1000), published for more than a century in New York City. The most widely read feature, the “Bintel Brief” (Bundle of letters), was a daily personal advice column that began in 1906 to give immigrants the opportunity to pour out their hearts about their problems with husbands, wives, in-laws, children, poverty, and work, responding with advice. One newlywed American-born woman wrote to ask if she should leave her Russian-born husband because her friends scoffed at his being a “greenhorn” and she was beginning to think like them. The editor assured her that her bridegroom would learn American history and literature as well as her friends and be a better American than they.6 Today, Yiddish readers in New York, many of them survivors of the Holocaust and observant Orthodox, can subscribe to Di Tsaytung (1988-; LC retains current issues in hard copy; AMED/Hebr microfilm 10037) and Der Algemeyner zshurnal [Algemeiner Journal] (1972-; LC retains current issues in hard copy; AMED/Hebr microfilm 10090).
Owing to a fresh readership, the small Hebrew press in the United States, most notable for ha-Do'ar (1922-; DS101.D6 Hebr), a weekly that first appeared in 1922, has generated new publications in recent decades. The Hebrew-language New York newspaper Yisrael Shelanu (1979-; DS101 .Y48, LC retains current issues in hard copy; micro film, Hebr) is geared to the two hundred thousand Israelis who now live in this country. Its “Ezrat Nashim” section (named for the women's gallery in the synagogue) offers recipes, shopping tips, and biblical commentary. A newspaper that appeals mainly to traditional Jews, Yated Ne'eman (1989-; LC retains current issues in hard copy; DS101.Y38;Newspaper Microfilm 3576), began publication in Monsey, New York, in 1989. Among its features in the “Home and Family” section are “Mother to Mother” and “Letters to Bubby” (or letters to grandmother) columns.
Jewish Women's Periodicals
The first independent Jewish women's journal in the United States was the American Jewess (1895-99; AP92.A6 GenColl; microfilm 51565), an outgrowth of the activism generated by late-nineteenth-century middle-class German-Jewish club women, particularly those associated with the newly founded National Council of Jewish Women. This organization created the Jewish Woman (1921-31; E184.J5 J65 GenColl), and regional sections of the group published their own monthly and annual publications. Organs of other Jewish women's groups in the Library's collections, although holdings for them are not complete, include those of Hadassah, Na'amat (formerly Pioneer Women), and Jewish Women International (formerly B'nai B'rith Women). Additional independent journals include Der Idisher froyen zshurnal (Jewish woman's home journal) (1922-23; HQ1172.I35 Hebr), Di Idishe heym [Di Yiddishe Heim] (The Jewish home) (1958-; BM198.I33 Hebr), Lilith: The Independent Jewish Women's Magazine (1976-; BM729.W6 L54 GenColl), and Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends (1990-; WMLC 91/933 GenColl, N&CPR), a twice-yearly anthology that seeks to make connections among lesbian, gay, antiracist, and working-class Jewish women's movements.
Various specialized published indexes provide some access to articles, book reviews, obituaries, and bibliographies in select Jewish journals. Online databases, available on-site in the Library's reading rooms, are a newer source for indexes. The Periodical Contents Index (PCI), for example, provides the tables of contents for several dozen Jewish periodicals. The Project Muse database makes full text available for many current journals, including American Jewish History.
Goren, Arthur. “The Jewish Press.” In The Ethnic Press in the United States, edited by Sally M. Miller, 203-28. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1987. PN4882.E84 1987, MRR Alc, EurRR, N&CPR.
This volume provides dates and titles for newspapers for many different groups.
Index to the American Jewish Year Book. Vols. 1-50. New York: American Jewish Committee, n.d. E184.J5 A6 Hebr Ref.
Index to the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society. Vols. 1-20. Baltimore: American Jewish Historical Society, 1914. E184.J5 A5 Hebr Ref.
An Index to Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society. Vols. 21-50. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Publishing, 1994. E184.3.I56 1994, Hebr Ref.
Kaganoff, Nathan M. Judaica Americana: An Annotated Bibliography of Publications from 1960-1990. 2 vols. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Carlson Publishing, 1995. Z6373.U5 K34 1995, Hebr Ref, MRR Alc.
Koppel, Lenore Pfeffer, ed. Index to Jewish Periodicals. Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 1964-. Z6367.I5 MRR Alc, Hebr Ref.
Marcus, Jacob Rader, ed. An Index to Scientific Articles on American Jewish History. Cincinnati, Ohio: American Jewish Archives, and New York: Ktav, 1971. Z6372. M35 Hebr Ref.
Zafren, Herbert C., ed. Jewish Newspapers and Periodicals on Microfilm: Available at the American Jewish Periodical Center. Cincinnati: The Center, 1984. Z6367.H48 1984, Hebr Ref.
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