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Jewish Culture: Renaissance or Ice Age?
A Scholar Discusses the Creative Outlook

- Abstract

As a Cisatlantic, I obviously lack a principal qualification to discuss “Jewish Culture in America,” but I am fortified by the consideration that our problems in England and yours in the United States are not really dissimilar. Indeed, the three-quarters of a million Jews in the British Empire are no negligible reinforcement to the five millions in America, even if we surrender to you our title to Canadian Jewry. Before long, when in the natural process of time the foreign-born element will have become submerged, this will be (unless indeed it is already) by far the greatest homogeneous linguistic block in the Jewish world, as Yiddish-speaking Jewry was for so long.

One can go further: it will be, numerically, the greatest homogeneous linguistic bloc that there has ever been in the Jewish world, even at the greatest age of Jewish cultural productivity, except this same Yiddish-speaking Jewry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The total number of persons involved will compare favorably with the population of many smaller countries which stand in the forefront of European civilization—Holland, Norway, Denmark. Is there any reason why this group should not evolve a comparable cultural life?

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