The Hebrew Orient

Palestine in Jewish American Visual Culture, 1901-1938

By Jessica L. Carr

Subjects: Jewish Studies, Israel Studies, Religion, Art
Paperback : 9781438480824, 313 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438480831, 313 pages, December 2020

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. "The Orient" as Jewish Heritage

2. The Place of Relics and Pioneers: Periodicals of the Zionist Organization of America

3. Reviewing the Past: Jewish Art Calendars of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods

4. Reconstructing History: The Jewish Encyclopedia

5. Envisioning Citizenship: The Jewish Exhibit and Jewish Day at the 1933 World's Fair

6. Making a Difference: Maternalism in Hadassah's "Propaganda"

Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Examines the role that images of Palestine played in the construction of prewar Jewish American identity.

Description

In the decades before the establishment of the State of Israel, striking images of Palestine circulated widely among Jewish Americans. These images visualized "the Orient" for American viewers, creating the possibility for Jewish Americans to understand themselves through imagining "Oriental" counterparts. In The Hebrew Orient, Jessica L. Carr shows how images of the Holy Land made Jewish Americans feel at home in the United States by imagining "the Orient" as heritage. Carr's analyses of periodicals from Hadassah and the Zionist Organization of America, art calendars from the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, the Jewish Encyclopedia, and the Jewish exhibit at the 1933 World's Fair are richly illustrated. What emerges is a new understanding of the place of Orientalism in American Zionism. Creating a narrative about their origins, Jewish Americans looked east to understand themselves as Westerners.

Jessica L. Carr is Philip and Murial Berman Scholar of Jewish Studies and an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Reviews

"This book raises the bar for academic works about Jewish material culture. It is thoughtful and thorough in layout, method, and analysis … In addition, Carr offers an elegant introduction to the methodology of visual culture, making this book more accessible to readers unfamiliar with the field." — American Jewish Archives Journal