University of Michigan

Deborah Dash Moore

Deborah Dash Moore is Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and former director of the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. An historian of American Jews, she is the author of a trilogy. Her first book, At Home in America: Second Generation New York Jews (1981), explores how the children of immigrants created an ethnic world that blended elements of Jewish and American culture into a vibrant urban society. In GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation (2004), she charts the lives of fifteen young Jewish men as they faced military service and tried to make sense of its demands, simultaneously wrestling with what it meant to be an American and a Jew. A Washington Post Best Book of the Year, GI Jews is a powerful, intimate portrayal of the costs of a conflict that was at once physical, emotional, and spiritual. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L. A. (1994) follows those Jews who chose to move to new homes after World War II and examines the type of communities and politics that flourished in these rapidly growing centers. Deborah Dash Moore’s work regularly garners awards. As an historian of New York City, she served as general editor for the award-winning three volume City of Promises: A History of Jews in New York City (2012). Her most recent book, Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People (2017), synthesizes those three volumes into a fascinating history of American Jews capital city. Currently she is editor-in-chief of the ten-volume Posen Library of Jewish Culture and Civilization published by Yale University Press.

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Lectures:

  • Urban Origins of American Judaism uncovers the powerful impact of city living on American Jews, how it shaped their religious life in synagogues and on the streets over the course of two centuries.
  • Jewish New York introduces the remarkable intertwined story of a city that became America’s largest with a people who helped to make it the nation’s distinctive, creative powerhouse.
  • GI Jews takes listeners on a journey back into World War II and the struggles of Jewish soldiers to prove themselves to their fellow soldiers even as they fought a bitter and relentless enemy as Americans and as Jews.
  • Jewish Photographers Picture the Modern World describes the course of modern Jewish history through the lens of some of the world’s most talented documentary photographers.