Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939

Front Cover
Indiana University Press, May 21, 2006 - Social Science - 280 pages
0 Reviews

Kosher pork -- an oxymoron? Anna Shternshis's fascinating study traces the creation of a Soviet Jewish identity that disassociated Jewishness from Judaism. The cultural transformation of Soviet Jews between 1917 and 1941 was one of the most ambitious experiments in social engineering of the past century. During this period, Russian Jews went from relative isolation to being highly integrated into the new Soviet culture and society, while retaining a strong ethnic and cultural identity. This identity took shape during the 1920s and 1930s, when the government attempted to create a new Jewish culture, "national in form" and "socialist in content." Soviet and Kosher is the first study of key Yiddish documents that brought these Soviet messages to Jews, notably the "Red Haggadah," a Soviet parody of the traditional Passover manual; songs about Lenin and Stalin; scripts from regional theaters; Socialist Realist fiction; and magazines for children and adults. More than 200 interviews conducted by the author in Russia, Germany, and the United States testify to the reception of these cultural products and provide a unique portrait of the cultural life of the average Soviet Jew.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Antireligious Propaganda and the Transformation of Jewish Institutions and Traditions
1
From Illiteracy to Worker Correspondents Soviet Yiddish Amateur Writing
44
Amateur Local Yiddish Theaters
70
Soviet Yiddish Songs as a Mirror of Jewish Identity
106
Soviet in Form National in Content Russian Jewish Popular Culture
143
Conclusion
182
Notes
187
Bibliography
217
Index
241
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 233 - Geiger. The family in Soviet Russia. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.

About the author (2006)

Anna Shternshis is Assistant Professor of Yiddish and Director of the Al and Malka Green Yiddish Studies Program at the University of Toronto.

Bibliographic information