Ambivalent Embrace: Jewish Upward Mobility in Postwar America

By Rachel Kranson | Go to book overview

Conclusion

The new middle-class American Jews of the late 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s did not climb the economic ladder to a chorus of accolades and applause. On the contrary, they stood accused of pursuing crass assimilationism and of being too concerned about their own economic and social status to nurture an authentic Jewish life in the United States. They bore the criticism of the very rabbis, novelists, and intellectuals they supported financially through their synagogue dues and magazine subscriptions. Later, they endured similar condemnations from the children they raised in an environment of comfort and security they themselves had not known in their own youth. Indeed, much truth lay in Canadian writer Mordecai Richler’s 1965 claim that the “most fired-at class of American Jews” may well be “this generation between, this unlovely spiky bunch that climbed with the rest of middle-class America out of the Depression into the pot of prosperity.” One might wonder along with Richler if there has ever been a group of Jews “so plagued by moralists” or “so blamed for making money.”1

The Jewish anxieties over upward mobility that peaked in the years after World War II and continued through the countercultural moment that followed it emerged out of the incongruity between Jews’ self-image as outsiders and their newfound status as white, middle-class, even privileged insiders. These acerbic reactions to the new Jewish middle class, therefore, were shaped as much by Jewish achievement and success as by deeply felt histories of Jewish poverty and oppression.

During the postwar years, though internal critiques of the Jewish middle class abounded, little effort was made to meaningfully alter their lifestyle. The leaders who condemned the expense of middle-class suburban synagogues,

-165-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Ambivalent Embrace: Jewish Upward Mobility in Postwar America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 216

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.