The Jews of Boston
  • Sep 15, 2005
    384 p., 8 x 10
    110 b/w illus.
    ISBN: 9780300107876
  • Paper: $34.95 sc
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Social Science

Published in collaboration with the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Boston

The Jews of Boston

  • Edited by Jonathan D. Sarna, Ellen Smith, and Scott-Martin Kosofsky


“The writing is engaging and lucid, and the superb, profuse illustrations enhance the text. While numerous community histories have been published, this volume is in a class by itself—and will set the standard for all future works of this kind.”—Library Journal

“For those of us who grew up with anecdotes of what being a Jew was like in, say, the South End in 1910, or in Roxbury or Chelsea in 1920, this history, collected in one place for the first time, fills in the blanks. It gives us the context for our inherited folk tales.”—Alan Lupo, Boston Globe

“This book would be a wonderful gift for anyone who grew up and experienced Boston’s Jewish community, and it is a welcome addition to the literature of Boston’s minorities.”—Historical Journal of Massachusetts

“Even for non-Bostonians, the volume makes an important statement about the particular development of one important Jewish community as explored by excellent scholars in a beautiful format.”—Barry W. Holtz, Jewish Book World

“This handsome coffee book commemorates not just the most recent century, but the more than 350 years of Jewish history in Boston and New England that began with the 1649 arrival of scholar and trader Solomon Franco. A chronicle of struggle and achievement, The Jews of Boston is a compilation of twelve fascinating and informative essays, nicely enhanced with archival photographs and images of people and places long gone. . . . Ambitious in its scope, The Jews of Boston succeeds in presenting 350 years of cultural, business, social and philanthropic, and educational history in a most readable and illuminating way.”—Libbie Payne, New England Historical and Genealogical Society

"The content is outstanding.  The essays are at once weighty and accessible to general readers. . . . More than 100 illustrations and photographs bring history to life. . . . More than just a community history, this excellent book uses Boston's experience as a window into understanding American Judaism more generally."—Publishers Weekly

“This handsomely illustrated book is the first comprehensive history of Boston’s Jewish community. . . . Despite its coffee table appearance, the work, in fact, consists of 12 well-crafted essays written by experts in their respective fields. The essays focus on the evolution of Boston’s Jews from Colonial days to the present, with an excellent closing piece by Stephen Whitfield that assesses the contributions of Boston’s Jews to the city’s overall cultural life and to Jewish life in general. “—J. Fischel, Social & Behavioral Sciences

“The contributors never lose sight of the history of the city of Boston. Each article locates the threads of Jewish history in Boston within the weave of the wider society. These threads constituted the initiatives of Jews to find a new home, a new way of life, and a new identity in America.”—Reed Ueda, The New England Quarterly