Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

12
German Jews and Their
Social Relationships

Compared to the detailed documentation available about socializing among German middle-class Christians,1 we have few details about what German Jews did when they got together informally. Memoirs report on reading and amusements within the home, visits by relatives and friends, card playing, dances, and visits to taverns. Because of the wide variations from individual to individual, it is difficult to make a comment on which of these informal activities was most common. Besides informal socializing and amusements, German Jews in the nineteenth century also joined clubs, welfare societies, and other formal organizations either together with non-Jews or, perhaps more frequently, in an exclusively Jewish or predominantly Jewish circle. Over the course of the nineteenth century the isolation of Jews from an often hostile majority population became less noticeable and social hostility declined, but some measure of separation in social relations remained throughout the period.


Socialization in the Jewish Community

The most intimate social circle for most people was the nuclear and extended family. Some families gathered in their living rooms to read or to engage in conversation or cultural activities, including singing or playing the piano. Many Jewish families, who worked long hours and were tired after work, spent their leisure hours at home resting or engaged in useful pursuits. Visits to relatives who lived in town were common, especially on the Sabbath. Visits from or to relatives out of town, which were naturally less frequent, were a high point of the year for many families. Families entertained visiting relatives in

-159-

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Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • English Glossary ix
  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction: Marion A. Kaplan 3
  • Part I: On the Threshold of Modernity 9
  • 1: The Environment of Jewish Life 11
  • 2: Family Life 24
  • 3: Childhood and Education 41
  • 4: Economic Life 54
  • 5: Religious and Communal Life 70
  • 6: Social Relations 84
  • Part II: The Beginning of Integration 93
  • 7: Jewish Residential Patterns 95
  • 8: Family Life 107
  • 9: Education 118
  • 10: Economic Life 130
  • 11: Religious Practice and Mentality 144
  • 12: German Jews and Their German Jews and Their 159
  • Part III: As Germans and as Jews in Imperial Germany 173
  • 13: Surroundings 175
  • 14: Family 182
  • 15: Education 201
  • 16: Work 215
  • 17: Religious Practices, Mentalities,And Community 235
  • 18: Social Life 252
  • Part IV: From Everyday Life to a State of Emergency 271
  • 19: Housing and Housekeeping 273
  • 20: Family Life 283
  • 21: Education and Vocational Training 291
  • 22: Career and Employment 306
  • 23: Religious Practice in the Synagogue and at Home 323
  • 24: Leisure Time and Social Life 333
  • 25: Constricting and Extinguishing Jewish Life 346
  • Conclusion 375
  • Notes 387
  • Bibliography 477
  • Index 507
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