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Grant number like: FEL-273177-21

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Shari Rabin
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH 44074-1057)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2021 – 7/31/2022

Jews and the American South: Race, Religion, Region

Research and writing leading to publication of a book narrating the history of Jewish people in the South, from 1669 to the present day.

This project is the first academic survey of southern Jewish history. Jews have had a presence in what came to be known as the South since the late seventeenth century, and while scholarship on this history has grown tremendously in the last fifty years, it has not made an impact on broader conversations about the American South. Because Jews were distinctive not only in belief and practice, but in kinship ties and occupational patterns, they complicated southern racial and religious norms. When viewed through the lens of its Jewish residents, the South emerges as a place not only of rural spaces, rigid racial divisions, and Christian uniformity, but of urban settings, shifting dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, and diverse people groups laying claim to southern belonging. In focusing on a seemingly marginal group in a seemingly peripheral place, this book will tell a bigger story about American history.