Jewish History Meets Modern American Culture

by Staff

Jewish history and culture have firmly cemented themselves into a modern American society. The largest Jewish community resides in New York, with other large communities settling in LA and the south of Florida. These communities have heavily influenced modern-day Jewish culture into America’s society – sharing values, customs, cuisine, and more with the wider community. Below, we’ll explore how Judaism has integrated into modern American culture.

Jewish Beliefs and Culture

The influence on modern American culture began long before the present day. Jewish beliefs and concepts permeate many facets of US culture and heritage that started as Judaism laid the foundations for Christianity and Islam. Judaism even helped shape western ideas about law, morality, and social justice. Some experts even believe that Judaism started the revolutionary idea that started the social reform – humans can stop injustices in the world and have a responsibility to do it.

Since the beginning of Judaism integrating into American culture, practicing Jews have continued to influence American values and beliefs. Peaceful communities are welcoming and willing to share their religion.

Jewish Celebrations 

Jewish celebrations have become part of American culture with values shared by communities, celebrities, and even the Whitehouse. One of the most sacred celebrations, the Seder meal of Passover, was shared with the world by the Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, as he held a virtual Seder during the pandemic. Doug Emhoff shared with the world the typically somewhat private celebration of Passover by inviting America to join his virtual table with a Seder plate – as found on Nadavart – and carry out Passover traditions.

That’s just one example of how Jewish celebrations are shared with the rest of America. There are seventeen celebrations in the Jewish religious calendar, and ones like Passover and Hanukkah typically spill over into American culture – especially Hanukkah, the celebration of light and the New Year. In states like New York, friends of Jewish households often join them to celebrate out of respect for the religion and culture.

Jewish Food Culture

Jewish food culture is huge. In New York, for example, tons of Kosher and Jewish restaurants spread the food culture throughout the state. For example, the iconic New York bagel was introduced to the US by Jewish immigrants for Poland, although many practicing Jews will tell you a bagel is the least Jewish food around. The same goes for LA – a state renowned for its food culture. Still, it’s now symbolic of the Jewish community in New York.

Most US states will have plenty of Jewish or kosher restaurants to explore. Typical delicacies include Latkes, Potato Knishes, Bagels and Lox, and Matzo Brei. Celebrations like Passover, for example, see these restaurants come to life as they observe Passover by eating specific delicacies and avoiding unleavened foods.

There are roughly 14 million practicing Jews in America, with the majority of them residing in Israel and America. Judaism is firmly cemented in western culture, especially in America. Traditions, values, and beliefs have intertwined with modern American culture to become one.

About the Author/s

All posts

The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Digest Online. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New Jersey Digest. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact