Jewish Families, Jewish Families, 0813562910, 0-8135-6291-0, 978-0-8135-6291-9, 9780813562919, , Key Words in Jewish Studies, Jewish Families, 0813562929, 0-8135-6292-9, 978-0-8135-6292-6, 9780813562926, , Key Words in Jewish Studies, Jewish Families, 0813562937, 0-8135-6293-7, 978-0-8135-6293-3, 9780813562933, , Key Words in Jewish Studies, Jewish Families, 0813580307, 0-8135-8030-7, 978-0-8135-8030-2, 9780813580302, , Key Words in Jewish Studie
Jewish Families

Jonathan Boyarin (Author)
Volume 4
206 pages, 6 x 9
Paper, July 2013 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, July 2013 $78.00   ADD TO CART
epub, July 2013 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Series: Key Words in Jewish Studies
Subject Area:
Jewish Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies


From stories of biblical patriarchs and matriarchs and their children, through the Gospel’s Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and to modern Jewish families in fiction, film, and everyday life, the family has been considered key to transmitting Jewish identity. Current discussions about the Jewish family’s supposed traditional character and its alleged contemporary crisis tend to assume that the dynamics of Jewish family life have remained constant from the days of Abraham and Sarah to those of Tevye and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and on to Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint.

Jonathan Boyarin explores a wide range of scholarship in Jewish studies to argue instead that Jewish family forms and ideologies have varied greatly throughout the times and places where Jewish families have found themselves. He considers a range of family configurations from biblical times to the twenty-first century, including strictly Orthodox communities and new forms of family, including same-sex parents. The book shows the vast canvas of history and culture as well as the social pressures and strategies that have helped shape Jewish families, and suggests productive ways to think about possible futures for Jewish family forms.

Author / Editor Bio

JONATHAN BOYARIN is the Thomas and Diann Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Mornings at the Stanton Street Shul: A Lower East Side Summer; The Unconverted Self: Jews, Indians, and the Identity of Christian Europe; and Powers of Diaspora: Two Essays on the Relevance of Jewish Culture.

Table Of Contents


Preface: Doing the Jewish Family


1. Terms of Debate
Family History and the History of Families
Bearing the Children of Israel
Narrating the Family Journey
Husbands, Wives, and Rabbis in Antiquity
In the Ancient Neighborhood
"Jewish Gender"?
Beyond "Tradition" and "Modernity"
An All-Too-Quick Trip to Israel

2. State of the Question
The Medieval Jewish Past Today
Mediterranean Wolrds
Dreamtimes and Lifetimes
Leaving Ashkenaz
Back to Europe?
From Ethnic Dissolution to Ashkenaz Regained
Jewish Genes
3. In a New Key
Off-Key Echoes of Old Prejudice
The Return of "Race"?
Families Undone and Redone
Suturing the Tears in Family Memory
Cut to Identity
Possible Futures
Keeping Up with the Goldbergs
Who Needs the Jewish Family?



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