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The Jewish Diaspora across Greater Boston’s landscape: A feminist analysis of complex intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, and religion

Author(s): Suzanne Spencer-Wood

Year: 2014

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Summary

A feminist analysis reveals that changing gender ideologies, identities, and practices were integral to the material spread of Jewish communities across Greater Boston’s landscape. First, conflict was resolved between waves of immigrants of different Jewish sects, ethnicities, and classes. Then processes of change are analyzed, primarily the influences of Anglo-American culture and Protestantism on Jewish gender systems and religious practices. This research reveals the diversity and complexity in relationships between Jewish and Anglo communities. Besides Anglo discrimination against Jews as a ‘race,’ some Anglo charities welcomed and assisted Jews. Jewish men, who traditionally gained status by organizing synagogue charities, adopted some Protestant charitable practices, including encouraging women to participate by raising money in synagogue auxiliaries. Women further gained status through the adoption of Protestant gender ideology, and by organizing their own charities. Archaeological survey revealed that synagogues and charitable institutions usually moved across the landscape with the communities they served.


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The Jewish Diaspora across Greater Boston’s landscape: A feminist analysis of complex intersections between race, ethnicity, class, gender, and religion. Suzanne Spencer-Wood. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436784)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-23,01

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America