A Question of Identity: Jewish Italian in New York during and after War World II

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There are many studies on Italian and Jewish immigration in the United States, mainly based on socio-demographic statistics, the theme of exile, Fascist anti-Semitism or ethnic conflicts. Many of these researches focus primarily on Jewish or Italians, but rarely address at Italian Jews as a whole, and, in their relation with Italian American and Jews. One of the reasons of this paucity of studies, might be the little number of Italian Jews who immigrated to the United States, especially in New York in the 1930s and 1940s, that drove several scholars not to pay really attention to this tiny group in ignoring their presence. Thus, this article aims to investigate through some memoirs, interviews and autobiographies the life of Italian Jews who were living in New York and the Metropolitan area during and after War World II, with particular emphasis to those who were born there in these years and their formation of an American identity. This essay will also clarify the role of memory and “nostalgia” in an Italian identity—above all an Italian Jewish identity—which made Italian Jews a unique group and a minority within a minority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
JournalCultural and Religious Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016


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