A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish

By Joshua Eli Plaut | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Each and every year, I anticipate with scholarly inquisitiveness the arrival of the December holidays. My research on Jews and Christmas in America began in 1994. The subject matter was a natural choice given my love of Jewish history, popular culture, and ethnographic fieldwork. My fascination with the subject has continued unabated until the present day. I am captivated by how Jews in America have fashioned a continually changing colorful rainbow of strategies to participate in and enjoy the December holiday season.

I appreciate the encouragement of my colleagues and teachers: Professors Jacob Marcus z”1, Jonathan Sarna (Brandeis University), Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York University), Hillel Levine (Boston University), and Lawrence Schiffman (formerly of New York University and currently of Yeshiva University). Above all other scholars, Professor Stephen Stern—rabbi, mentor, and friend—helped me in countless ways as I pursued a comprehensive examination of Jewish responses to Christmas during the December holiday season. Steve Stern’s understanding of popular culture and folk religion provided historical perspective, depth, and analysis to the book. My gratitude and appreciation goes out to my friend of thirty years.

Thank you to Beth Kressel, my first editor, and also to Marlie Wasserman of Rutgers University Press for encouraging and managing my book in progress. I am most grateful to Marlie for her guidance in bringing my book project to fruition. My gratitude also extends to Lisa Boyajian for overseeing the permissions process. Lisa Nowak Jerry copyedited the text with great sensitivity. Thanks also to staff members Marilyn Campbell, Anne Hegeman, Liz Scarpelli, Lisa Fortunato, Jeanne Ambrosio, and Brice Hammack.

-xiii-

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