American Jewish History

A Primary Source Reader

Edited by Gary Phillip Zola and Marc Dollinger

Presenting the American Jewish historical experience from its communal beginnings to the present through documents, photographs, and other illustrations, many of which have never before been published, this entirely new collection of source materials complements existing textbooks on American Jewish history with an organization and pedagogy that reflect the latest historiographical trends and the most creative teaching approaches. Ten chapters, organized chronologically, include source materials that highlight the major thematic questions of each era and tell many stories about what it was like to immigrate and acculturate to American life, practice different forms of Judaism, engage with the larger political, economic, and social cultures that surrounded American Jews, and offer assistance to Jews in need around the world. At the beginning of each chapter, the editors provide a brief historical overview highlighting some of the most important developments in both American and American Jewish history during that particular era. Source materials in the collection are preceded by short headnotes that orient readers to the documents’ historical context and significance.

Paper: $40 | E-book: $39.99
ISBN-13: 9781611685107
Pages: 478 | Size: 7 in. x 10 in.
Date Published: November 4, 2014

Setting the gold standard for the field, Zola and Dollinger’s source reader is indispensable for those teaching modern Jewish history.

Pamela S. Nadell

American University


  • [This] stunning new collection of documents... conveys the remarkable breadth and extraordinary diversity of the American Jewish experience across 350 years. The editors show keen sensitivity to the maturation of American Jewish historiography. Their selections capture the voices of America's Jews and illuminate their lives through the prisms of business and labor, immigration and adaptation, religion and Zionism, family life and philanthropy, politics and antisemitism. Setting the gold standard for the field, Zola and Dollinger's source reader is indispensable for those teaching modern Jewish history.

    Pamela S. Nadell
    Director, Jewish Studies at American University
  • American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader... offers a panoramic sweep of religion, politics, popular culture, and more, and it will, I predict, become the key compendium of primary documents for the study of the American Jewish past.

    Hasia R. Diner
    American Jewish History, New York University

About the Author

Marc Dollinger

Marc Dollinger teaches at San Francisco State University and is the author of Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America.

Gary Phillip Zola

Gary Phillip Zola is the executive director of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and the Edward M. Ackerman Family Distinguished Professor of the American Jewish Experience and Reform Jewish History at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently he is coeditor of American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader, also published by Brandeis University Press.