30 October 2007

Book: Southern Jewish Roots

Did your Jewish families settle in the American south? Here are two books - one recently published and one upcoming - which focus on southern Jewish roots.

Mark I. Greenberg and Marcie Cohen Ferris are the co-editors of the anthology Jewish Roots in Southern Soil: A New History (Brandis University Press, 2006), and Greenberg is the author of the upcoming Jews of Savannah Georgia (1733-1900).

Greenberg is at the University of South Florida, where he is associate librarian, Special Collections director, Florida Studies Center director and Oral History Program director. His focus is on Southern and immigrant/ethnic history, and particularly southern Jewish history.

For more on how he became interested in the Jewish history of the South, click here.

There are numerous review of the book at the site, and I liked this one by J.Book.com's Danny Miller:

"Jewish Roots in Southern Soil helped shatter my arrogant belief that Jewish culture in this country was invented by New Yorkers, Chicagoans, and other Northern Jews. The story of how the Jews of the South acculturated to their region while still holding onto their Jewish identity is a vitally important chapter in the history of American Jewry. The scholars represented in this excellent resource prove once and for all that being a Jew in the United States does not begin and end with a plate of lox and bagels but can also include a little gumbo, black-eyed peas, and some matzo-meal fried-green tomatoes."

Additionally, both this book and the upcoming Savannah-focused book, should prove interesting to Sephardic researchers, as many of the first Southern Jews were Sephardim from the Caribbean.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    I am a librarian and I am creating a powerpoint presentation about Jewish genealogy and one slide will medntion Southern Jewish genealogy. Aside from these books are there any others that you think are worthwhile for me to include.