Jews In Post World-War II America
Prof. Hasia Diner
New York University
This research seminar will explore the ways in which American Jews experienced the era from the end of World War II into the early 1960s, a period of time generally understood as “post-war.” We will do some common readings, but students will primarily be involved in individual research projects based on primary materials. Students should consider that the ultimate goal of the course is to write a paper which could become a publishable paper.
This is a period in American Jewish history which has received very little attention to date. Yet, this era encompasses the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust and the World War with their tremendous disruptions, the process of suburbanization, the Cold War, anti-Communism, the civil rights struggle, the development of television and its penetration into American homes, the rise of the State of Israel, debates in America about church-state separation, among other developments in which Jews functioned as both agents of change and as reflectors of the forces around them, upon which they had little control.
***All students who receive this syllabus before the start of the semester are encouraged to use the winter break to familiarize themselves with the issues and the literature and to begin to think about a possible project, going so far as to investigate the availability of primary sources.***