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American Jews and Christmas

This course was offered in Fall, 2015.

Jews and ChristmasJewish anxieties surrounding Christmas in America have led to hybrid celebrations, legal disputes about public holiday displays, and intense efforts from Jews to educate other Americans about Chanukah. To begin to unravel these anxieties together, we will analyze a diverse set of sources reflecting moments when Jews and Christmas were at the fore of popular consciousness. Looking at a legal case, a Grace Paley story, an episode of Frasier, a series of interfaith greeting cards, and an SNL sketch, we will discuss how Christmas became a touchstone for American Jewish identity.

Students are strongly encouraged to read the six-page short story The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley.


# Sessions
Date & time

Sunday, December 13
9:30 - 11:00 am

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Dec 13 9:30 AM–11:00 AM Sun Temple Sinai Shaina Hammerman


Temple Sinai

2808 Summit Street

Oakland, CA 94609



Shaina Hammerman

Shaina HammermanShaina Hammerman holds a Ph.D. in Jewish History and Culture from the Graduate Theological Union. She teaches courses on Jewish film, literature, religion, and cultural history at universities, libraries, and synagogues across the Bay Area. Her book, Black Hat, Silver Screen: The Hasid in Film will be published by Indiana University Press in 2017. Learn more about Dr. Shaina Hammerman at shainahammerman.com.