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Grant number: FT-59531-12

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Lila Corwin Berman
Temple University (Philadelphia, PA 19122-6003)

An Urban History of Jews in Detroit after World War II

Jewish Urban Journeys Through an American City and Beyond argues that, between World II and the 1960s and 1970s, Jews refashioned their urbanism into a vision of self, community, and society--what I term--"suburban cosmopolitanism" that persisted well beyond city limits. The book embeds its narrative in the local context of Detroit to challenge historians' depiction of white, middle class disinvestment from city politics, culture, and people after World War II. It also erodes standard explanations of Jewish suburbanization as indicative of Jews' easy mobility and detachment from physical space. Archival sources and built space reveal the striking ambivalence that Jews felt about leaving the city. Suburban cosmopolitanism, characterized by new forms of political, cultural, spiritual, and economic activism, emerged in the breach between Jews' deep attachment to city life and their true reluctance to remain in cities with growing black populations and dwindling resources.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Jewish Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012