American Jewish Culture Dr Elaine Leeder
JCC Sonoma County has pivoted to continue serving the Jewish community by continuing to carry out its programs during the Covid-19 crisis. Many JCC's shut down during this time, but we stayed open. We determinedly continued our programming for seniors with the help of repurposed iPads, for teens with virtual gatherings, for children with camp in a box, for Jewish culture with an online Israeli Film Festival, and much more at no charge.
This course will cover American Jewish culture since immigration in the late 1880’s until 1920’s. The course will then move on to explore contemporary Jewish life from a sociocultural perspective, looking at issues in the context of Jewish history and culture and American history and culture. Topics will include immigration, changing family and gender relations, religious movements, ethnicity, class and politics, relations with other ethnic and racial groups, responses to the Holocaust and Israel, as well as American Jewish cultural diversity.
Week One: The immigrant experience, including Jews from Germany, Eastern Europe, Sephardic immigrants including Syrians and Yemeni, the “uptown Jews” vs. the “downtown Jews.” And the Jewish labor movement
Week Two: Jews and Gender; Acculturation, assimilation, the myth of the Jewish mother, Jewish masculinity; American Jewish family life
Week Three: Anti Jewish Sentiment in the United States; history of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to the alt- right of today; the difference between anti-semitism and anti-zionism
Week Four: American Jewish cultural diversity: the various Jewish denominations, Jewish relations with other ethnic groups including Muslims and Blacks
ABOUT DR. ELAINE
Dr. Elaine Leeder has taught American Jewish Radicals at the SOCO JCC to a group of almost 20 participants in the Spring on 2018. She is an emerita dean at Sonoma State University and an emerita professor of Sociology at SSU. Previously she taught at Ithaca College. She has an MSW from Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work in NYC, a Master’s in Public Health from UC Berkeley and a PhD from Cornell University. She is the author of six books and is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Teachers and Who’s Who of American Women. She has received awards for her teaching and work in prisons. Currently she volunteers doing victim/offender dialogues with convicted felons and the victims of their crime. She is donating her time to benefit the JCC.