The Jews of Italy, 1848-1915

Between Tradition and Transformation

Schächter, Elizabeth

In this book, author Elizabeth Schachter challenges the widely held view that Jewish integration in Italy - from the second emancipation (1848) to the First World War - was an unqualified success, and thus an anomaly in European Jewish history. She draws on contemporary Jewish journals, memoirs, autobiographies, oral testimony, private correspondence, and archival material to illustrate her case. Schachter explores the principal areas of concern for Jews in Italy: the tensions and pressures of acceptance in the host society, 'the anguish of assimilation;' the complex relationship between Jewish identity and nascent national identity; the erosion of the traditional bonds that bound the individual Jew to his community; and the abandonment of religious practices, leading, in some cases, to mixed marriages and conversion. The book is a rich and wide-ranging treatment of Italian Jewish identity in the period of Italian unification and liberal Italy, set within the broader framework of European Jewish history. [Subject: Jewish Studies, History, Diaspora Studies, Migration Studies, Italian Studies, Minority Studies]

278 pages

Copyright: 1/1/2011