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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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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

From Generation to Generation

From Generation to Generation

The Jewish Counterculture’s Critique of Affluence

(p.138) Six From Generation to Generation
Ambivalent Embrace

Rachel Kranson

University of North Carolina Press

Beginning in the late 1960s, young Jewish radicals rejected the middle-class culture in which they had been raised, and attempted to reinvent American Jewish life in the spirit of the era’s global youth revolt. This Jewish counterculture organized multiple religious and political collectives and advanced a variety of causes, some of which overlapped and some of which actually contradicted with one another. The common denominator linking together all of these disparate undertakings, however, was a pointed critique of the middle-class Jewish culture that had been forged by the older generation of American Jews. Indeed, when members of the Jewish counterculture created narratives to justify their investments in such issues as the plight of Soviet Jewry; the inclusion of women, gays and lesbians in American Jewish life; Zionism; or the restructuring of American Judaism – none of which pertained directly to the class position of American Jews-- they often cited American Jewish affluence as not only relevant but fundamental to the problems they were trying to solve.

Keywords:   Jewish Counterculture, upward mobility, Soviet Jewry, women, gays, lesbians, Zionism, Judaism

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