Page 165 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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the na tiona l sections. W ithin the bounds o f the available
evidence, Altshuler analyzes the reasons for the Evsektsiia’s de­
mise and liquidation. Thus, he finds that the Jewish sections were
summarily done away with once it seemed to the Party leadership
that they had fulfilled the functions for which they had been cre­
ated. The author emphasizes that the fate of the Evsektsiia re­
flected the general nationality policy o f the regime, which also
eliminated the other national sections in the Party.
Ezra Mendelsohn’s
The Jews o f East Central Europe Between the
World Wars
(Bloomington, 1983), describes and analyzes the
political, economic and cultural conditions, including the inter­
nal life and demography, o f the Jews who lived in Poland,
Lithuania, Latvia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Estonia between
1919 and 1939. The ir relations with their non-Jewish neighbors
and the deterioration o f the general situation o f the Jews are two
o f the major problems addressed. The author shows that while
Zionism, Jewish socialism, modern Hebrew and Yiddish educa­
tion and literature thrived, the much sought-after political goal
o f Jewish national autonomy was never realized. The Jewish mi­
nority was never in a position to determine its own fate. Jews were
neither able to emigrate to Palestine in significant numbers (the
Zionist hope), nor could they find allies among the non-Jewish
population (the socialist dream).
The Jewish community o f the United States, the largest of the
Diaspora communities, is well represented in the research pub­
lished by the Institute. The fifth volume of the
Texts and Studies in
American Jewish History
series (in Hebrew), a jo in t project of the
Institute of Contemporary Jewry and the American Jewish His­
torical Soceity, edited by Moshe Davis and Abraham J. Karp, was
published in 1980. The series is designed to provide the Hebrew-
reading student and the general Israeli public with basic studies
on American Jewish history and institutions.
American Jews: The
Building o f a Voluntary Community
, by Eli Ginzberg, illuminates the
principal forces directing American Jews as their ties to tradition
are loosened and their acceptance in their environment is broad­
ened. Among the topics dealt with is the American Jewish com­
mitment to Israel. An additional volume, A. J. Karp’s