A Jewish Feminine Mystique?: Jewish Women in Postwar America

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Hasia Diner, Shira Kohn, Rachel Kranson
Rutgers University Press, Sep 10, 2010 - Social Science - 284 pages
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In The Feminine Mystique, Jewish-raised Betty Friedan struck out against a postwar American culture that pressured women to play the role of subservient housewives. However, Friedan never acknowledged that many American women refused to retreat from public life during these years. Now, A Jewish Feminine Mystique? examines how Jewish women sought opportunities and created images that defied the stereotypes and prescriptive ideology of the "feminine mystique."

As workers with or without pay, social justice activists, community builders, entertainers, and businesswomen, most Jewish women championed responsibilities outside their homes. Jewishness played a role in shaping their choices, shattering Friedan's assumptions about how middle-class women lived in the postwar years. Focusing on ordinary Jewish women as well as prominent figures such as Judy Holliday, Jennie Grossinger, and Herman Wouk's fictional Marjorie Morningstar, leading scholars explore the wide canvas upon which American Jewish women made their mark after the Second World War.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Jewish Women and Political Activism in Postwar Miami
13
2 The Polishness of Lucy S Dawidowiczs Postwar Jewish Cold War
31
The Progressive Politics of the National Council of Jewish Women after World War II
48
Selling Hadassah in the Postwar Era
65
Womens Religious Equality in the Postwar Reconstructionist Movement
87
Jewish Immigrant Professionals and Jewish Social Welfare Agencies in New York City 19481954
105
Egyptian Women at Home in America
126
9 Judy Hollidays Urban WorkingGirl Characters in 1950s Hollywood Film
160
The Public Image of Jennie Grossinger 19541972
177
11 Reading Marjorie Morningstar in the Age of the Feminine Mystique and After
194
Radical Feminism and Jewish Women
210
Reflections on the Life of Betty Friedan
235
Biographies of Contributors
257
Index
259
Copyright

Gender Class Assimilation and Whiteness in Postwar America
144

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About the author (2010)

HASIA R. DINER is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University. She is the author of numerous volumes, including We Remember with Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence after the Holocaust, 1945–1962.
 SHIRA KOHN and RACHEL KRANSON are doctoral candidates in New York University's joint Ph.D. program in history and Hebrew and Judaic studies.

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