Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion by Leonard Barkan (review)

Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion by Leonard Barkan (review) Berlin for Jews: A Twenty- First- Century Companion By Leonard Barkan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 191 pp. Berlin for Jews: A Twenty- First- Century Companion seems to be directed at an insider communit y of Jews who care about Jewish histor y, especial ly those considering a trip to Germany. The book’s meandering look at Berlin is broader and more nuanced than a travel guide, with close attention to how Jews of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries understood their own relationships to Jewishness. Still, it remains unclear who beyond a small subset of travelers will be interested in Leonard Barkan’s writing on Berlin. That the author is not an expert in either German or Jewish Studies has both merits and drawbacks. As a professor of com- parative literature, art and archaeology, classics, and English, Barkan has written a type of memoir for a general audience that scholars in German or Jewish Studies might not venture or desire to write. The first two chapters use a cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg and a neighborhood in Schöneberg as windows into specic fi eras of history. Chapters 3 through 5 present Barkan’s own “special Jewish pantheon” of Berlin Jews: salon http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

Berlin for Jews: A Twenty-First-Century Companion by Leonard Barkan (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Purdue University.
ISSN
1534-5165

Abstract

Berlin for Jews: A Twenty- First- Century Companion By Leonard Barkan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 191 pp. Berlin for Jews: A Twenty- First- Century Companion seems to be directed at an insider communit y of Jews who care about Jewish histor y, especial ly those considering a trip to Germany. The book’s meandering look at Berlin is broader and more nuanced than a travel guide, with close attention to how Jews of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries understood their own relationships to Jewishness. Still, it remains unclear who beyond a small subset of travelers will be interested in Leonard Barkan’s writing on Berlin. That the author is not an expert in either German or Jewish Studies has both merits and drawbacks. As a professor of com- parative literature, art and archaeology, classics, and English, Barkan has written a type of memoir for a general audience that scholars in German or Jewish Studies might not venture or desire to write. The first two chapters use a cemetery in Prenzlauer Berg and a neighborhood in Schöneberg as windows into specic fi eras of history. Chapters 3 through 5 present Barkan’s own “special Jewish pantheon” of Berlin Jews: salon

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Aug 7, 2018

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