Jews have called New Jersey home since the late seventeenth century, and they currently make up almost 6 percent of the states residents. Yet, until now, no book has paid tribute to the richness of Jewish heritage in the Garden State. The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History redresses this lack with a lively narrative and hundreds of archival and family photographsmany rarethat bring this history to life.
Patricia Ard and Michael Rockland focus on representative Jewish communities throughout the state, paying particular attention to the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Through the joys and struggles of homemakers, storekeepers, factory workers, athletes, children, farmers, activists, religious leaders, and Holocaust survivors, the authors tell the stories of how these communities have evolved, thrived, and changed. They note the difficulties posed by intermarriage and assimilation and, at the same time, depict a burgeoning revival of Jewish orthodoxy and traditions.
The Jews of New Jersey will please both the historian and general reader. Its heartwarming stories and pictures truly make the point that it is through the joys, triumphs, and defeats of everyday people that history is made.