By Sharon Gillerman
Germans into Jews turns to a frequently forgotten and misunderstood interval of German and Jewish history—the years among the area wars. it's been assumed that the Jewish neighborhood in Germany used to be in decline through the Weimar Republic. yet, Sharon Gillerman demonstrates that Weimar Jews sought to rejuvenate and reconfigure their neighborhood as a way either one of strengthening the German state and of constructing a extra expansive and self reliant Jewish entity in the German nation. those bold initiatives to extend fertility, extend welfare, and increase the relatives transcended the ideological and non secular divisions that experience frequently characterised Jewish communal existence. Integrating Jewish historical past, German background, gender heritage, and social background, this booklet highlights the experimental and contingent nature of efforts by means of Weimar Jews to reassert a brand new Jewish particularism whereas concurrently reinforcing their dedication to Germanness.
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Additional info for Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic (Stanford Studies in Jewish History and Culture)
If the New Woman generally appeared as a single, childless woman who lacked a commitment to Judaism, it is clear that a newly articulated ideal of the “New Jewish Mother” was emerging within the Jewish community that combined some of the liberated features of the New Woman while retaining her commitment to Jewish community and certain middle-class values. Since the late nineteenth century, in fact, the call for “proper” childrearing had been advanced as part of the attempt to professionalize motherhood.
The unique demographic and occupational group proﬁle of the Jews meant that the Jewish population experienced many of the social changes associated with modernization earlier and with greater intensity than the rest of German society. 14 One of the chief causes of this overall demographic contraction was the decrease in the birthrates of Jews, a change that had been set in motion in the previous century. Since the early 1880s, the Jewish population registered annual birthrates that were signiﬁcantly lower than those of the rest of the population.
24 Although Jews were self-employed at a much higher rate than non-Jews, the dramatic rise in the number of Jewish white-collar workers represented a signiﬁcant exception to this pattern. 27 Old-age pensioners and the self-employed were also overrepresented in the Jewish population, and they too were affected more than other groups as they watched the value of their ﬁxed incomes decline. While this book considers welfare and its signiﬁcance for the project of remaking the Jewish social body in the following chapters, it is worthwhile to note at this juncture the role and signiﬁcance of Jewish welfare services in helping mitigate the widening scope of need in the 1920s.