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Deborah Dash Moore receives the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award

June 10, 2013

If you’ve enjoyed reading the Encyclopedia on JWA.org, you can thank Deborah Dash Moore. In partnership with Paula Hyman, Moore co-edited Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, the huge volume of articles on Jewish women throughout history and from around the globe, which was published in 1997.

For this and her many accomplishments in the field of Jewish studies, Prof. Moore was presented with the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award from the Foundation for Jewish Culture on June 10, 2013. Her fellow recipients included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon, film producer Scott Berrie, musicologist and conductor Leon Botstein, and Russ & Daughters, New York’s century-old purveyor of appetizers.

Deborah Dash Moore is professor of history at the University of Michigan and director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.   She is the prize-winning author of At Home in America: Second Generation New York Jews and the editor of City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York. Her most recent book, GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation, mines both interviews and documents to present and interpret the wartime experience of American Jews.

At Home in America (1981) demonstrated that second-generation American Jews, the children of East European immigrants, preserved and reshaped their parents’ ethnic consciousness in the new neighborhoods that they built in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Focusing on their cultural and political activities, she challenged the regnant conventional wisdom that second-generation Jews tried to distance themselves from the legacy of their parents’ identities. Among her innovations were her analysis of urban neighborhoods and her identification of Jewish builders as key figures in stimulating the trajectory of urban relocation. The book has become a classic. In her acceptance speech, Moore recalled her third grade field trip that focused on the history of New York’s manhole covers: “New York’s history flourished literally beneath one’s feet.” She stated, “My scholarly career in Jewish studies has grown adventitiously from my family roots in New York … My scholarship sought to experiment with topics, press provocative arguments, stretch boundaries beyond what had been written, and confront the salient questions. No area offered greater freedom and challenge than American Jewish history… It has been a great voyage.”

View the video of Prof. Moore’s acceptance speech. Her mother Irene Golden Dash introduced her, and four generations of her family were in attendance at the ceremony.

Sources: “Deborah Dash Moore,” Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia; “2013 Jewish Cultural Achievement Awards a Smash Success,” Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Moore, Deborah - still image [media]
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A social historian of American Jewry, Deborah Dash Moore has played a significant role in the establishment of American Jewish history as a recognized field in both American and Jewish history.

Photographer: Mik Moore

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Deborah Dash Moore receives the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award." (Viewed on July 30, 2014) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/jun/10/2013/this-week-in-history-deborah-dash-moore-receives-jewish-cultural-achievement>.

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