… Jewish children never, it emerged, begged to be taken to church. Rather, they begged for decorated trees and Santa Claus. Jews replied with Hanukkah.
Ashton’s thorough treatment of her topic is sure to enlighten—she discusses everything from the official observances of Hanukkah at the White House to how the rise of the celebration affected mainstream ad campaigns and the number of opportunities available to Jewish women. It all adds up to powerful support for her thesis that Hanukkah now enjoys ‘a more significant place in the American Jewish calendar than it had known’ since the events it commemorates.
The current media fascination with women and power, sparked by elaborate controversies over Yahoo executive Marissa Mayer and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, might seem both disappointing and amusing to the legions of American women engaged in social and political activism during the first decades of the twentieth century. The disappointment is easy to understand. Why, they might ask, after more than 100 years of feminism, are we still disconcerted by women in positions of authority? And why do we still have to confront systemic conflicts between work and family? And why don’t women support each other more, and better?
Deborah Dash Moore, general editor of City of Promises: The History of the Jews in New York, discusses the forthcoming books.
& Kirkus Reviews says: “This ambitious three-volume history…provides a lively, much-needed overview of the role that Jews have played in the history and success of the Big Apple, helping to transform it into ‘a city of promises, some fulfilled, some pending, some beckoning new generations.’”