Caroline E. Light

Jews & Gender in the Jim Crow South

The migration of roughly two million eastern European Jews between 1881 and 1924 sparked national anti-Semitic speculation about Jewish inassimilability, driving native-born coreligionists to step up efforts to provide material support as well as guidance on the finer points of becoming American. In the post-Reconstruction South, the effort to take care of impoverished coreligionists was amplified at the crossroads of economic turmoil, profound shifts in the way racial differences were known, and violent policing of the color line, creating for Southern Jews a compulsion to excel in the performance of charity or else fall prey to the region’s most lethal exclusions. 

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.