The Half-Jewish Book: A Celebration

It’s happening fast: The population of half-Jews in America is well on its way to surpassing the population of full Jews. And with this population shift has come a revolutionary transformation of what it means to be half-Jewish. Sure, some people say that you are either Jewish or not, that there’s nothing in between – but the authors emphatically disagree. They say half-Jews are a unique subculture of people who draw from both sides of their heritage and synthesize their cultural halves into a remarkable new identity.

The Half-Jewish Book celebrates this unique identity that until now has been ignored, maligned, and misunderstood. There’s half-Jewish humor. Half-Jewish/half-Catholic Bill Maher: “I come from a mixed religious background – when I went to confession, I brought a lawyer with me.” And there’s half-Jewish beauty – Gwyneth Paltrow, Joan Collins, and Jane Seymour, just for starters. There are half-Jewish writers (Proust, Salinger), and half-Jewish characters in fiction by authors ranging from Philip Roth to Salman Rushdie. There’s even that half-Jewish cartoon phenomenon Tommy Pickles, in Rugrats. There are half-Jewish politicians – Fiorello La Guar-dia, Barry Goldwater, Dianne Feinstein. And there are the extraordinary number of people, like General Wesley Clark, who discovered as adults that they were half-Jewish and then embraced their newfound double heritage.

This book includes an eye-opening essay on half-Jewish identity and looks into the often misunderstood history of half-Jews in the Holocaust. There are original interviews with half-Jews, as well as holiday cards and menus, poetry and song lyrics, and paintings and photographs. Intelligent, exuberant, entertaining, and thought-provoking, The Half-Jewish Book is a fascinating celebration of a cultural mix that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

Resources

Related Articles

Archive Search

Search the world's largest online archive of material about Jewish diversity.


Archive Search

Search the world's largest online archive of material about Jewish diversity.


.

Read more on these topics:

Books