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A Kosher Christmas : : 'tis the season to be Jewish

Author: Joshua Eli Plaut
Publisher: New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Christmas is not everybody's favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America, whether participating in or refraining from recognizing Christmas, have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Their response is a mixed one: do we participate, try to ignore the holiday entirely, or create our own traditions and make the season an enjoyable time? This book, on the subject of Jews and  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Joshua Eli Plaut
ISBN: 9780813553795 0813553792 9780813553801 0813553806 9780813553818 0813553814
OCLC Number: 768417877
Description: xvii, 207 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction: Coping with Christmas: a multitude of Jewish responses --
Coming to the New World: can the American Jew keep Christmas? --
Hanukkah comes of age: the new Jewish Christmas --
We eat Chinese food on Christmas --
"'Twas the night before Hanukkah" : remaking Christmas through parody and popular culture --
The Christmas Mitzvah: 'tis the season to be giving --
Chrismukkah and Festivus: holidays for the rest of us --
Conclusion: Menorahs next to Madonnas: shaping the future of Christmas in America.
Responsibility: Joshua Eli Plaut.

Abstract:

Christmas is not everybody's favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America, whether participating in or refraining from recognizing Christmas, have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Their response is a mixed one: do we participate, try to ignore the holiday entirely, or create our own traditions and make the season an enjoyable time? This book, on the subject of Jews and Christmas in the United States, portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans. Creative and innovative in approaching the holiday season, these responses range from composing America's most beloved Christmas songs, transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas, creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve, volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day, dressing up as Santa Claus to spread good cheer, campaigning to institute Hanukkah postal stamps, and blending holiday traditions into an interfaith hybrid celebration called "Chrismukkah" or creating a secularized holiday such as Festivus. Through these venerated traditions and alternative Christmastime rituals, Jews publicly assert and proudly proclaim their Jewish and American identities to fashion a universally shared message of joy and hope for the holiday season.

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"Fascinating. Plaut means so well and covers so much ground. After 207 pages, I am a Hanukkah maven. Ask me anything."--Elinor Lipman"New York Times Book Review" (12/02/2012)

 
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