G.I. Jews: How WWII changed a generation


Deborah Dash MooreDeborah Dash Moore, Ph.D., who specializes in twentieth century American Jewish history, will speak on "G.I. Jews: How WWII Changed a Generation," as the 2007 Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecturer in Judaic Studies at Fairfield University on Monday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m., in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. The program is free of charge and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Please contact the Carl an Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

The Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, Dr. Moore has largely focused on 20th century urbanization, migration, acculturation, and community building among second and third generation Jews.

Her most recent prize-winning book, GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation (Harvard University Press, 2004), charts the lives of fifteen young Jewish men as they faced military service and tried to make sense of its demands, simultaneously wrestling with what it meant to be an American and a Jew. GI Jews is a powerful, intimate portrayal of the costs of a conflict that was at once physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Dr. Moore received her B.A. from Brandeis University and her doctorate from Columbia University in American and Jewish history. Among her awards is an honorary doctorate from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Several of her books have won awards including the Saul Viener Prize for the best book in American Jewish history (twice) and the National Jewish Book Award (twice).

Her first book, At Home in America: Second Generation New York Jews (1981), explores how the children of immigrants created an ethnic world that blended elements of Jewish and American culture into a vibrant urban society. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. (1994) follows those big city Jews who chose to move to new homes after World War II and examines the type of communities and politics that flourished in these rapidly growing centers.

Issues of leadership, authority and accomplishment have also engaged her attention, first in B'nai B'rith and the Challenge of Ethnic Leadership (1981), and more recently in the award-winning two-volume Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (1997), which she edited with Paula Hyman of Yale University.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 1, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 95