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Ambivalent EmbraceJewish Upward Mobility in Postwar America$
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Rachel Kranson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635439

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635439.001.0001

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Hadassah Makes You Important

Hadassah Makes You Important

Debating Middle-Class Jewish Femininity

(p.114) Five Hadassah Makes You Important
Ambivalent Embrace

Rachel Kranson

University of North Carolina Press

During the postwar years, American Jewish women received contradictory advice over how they ought to conduct their lives as they entered the middle-class. As Jewish men felt pressure to become breadwinners, the mores of the middle-class stipulated that married women limit their interests to the needs of home and family. Some Jewish leaders supported these middle-class gender ideologies and warned Jewish women against spending too much time away from domestic responsibilities; others encouraged Jewish women to defy postwar gender norms and engage fully and deeply in the public sphere. Significantly, both those leaders who believed that Jewish women needed to contributed to the world outside their homes and those who feared that they were spending too much time away from their families all tended to agree that the rising affluence of American Jews posed a threat to Jewish women and the Jewish families they were supposed to be raising.

Keywords:   Jews, femininity, upward mobility, domesticity

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