Hear Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut speak about his book A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish.
Christmas is not everybody’s favorite holiday. Historically, Jews in America have devised a multitude of unique strategies to respond to the holiday season. Creative and innovative, these responses range from composing America’s most beloved Christmas songs, transforming Hanukkah into the Jewish Christmas, creating a national Jewish tradition of patronizing Chinese restaurants and comedy shows on Christmas Eve, volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens on Christmas Day, dressing up as Santa Claus to spread good cheer and much more. The book, the first on the subject of Jews and Christmas in the United States, portrays how Jews are shaping the public and private character of Christmas by transforming December into a joyous holiday season belonging to all Americans.
Joshua Eli Plaut, an ordained rabbi, holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. He is the author of Greek Jewry in the Twentieth Century, 1913–1983 and has documented Jewish life and popular culture through photography, oral history, and ethnography.
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