An Uncertain Future: Voices of a French Jewish Community, 1940-2012
This contemporary oral history, based on interviews conducted over an 18-year period, is the first of its kind in English. The interviews, some repeated with the same subjects over years, demonstrate how the Jewish community of Dijon has evolved over time in response to challenges both internal and external.
The authors provide an introduction to the series of interviews as well as a detailed history of the community. A chronology, a map of Dijon, and photos of many interviewees are included. The book also provides an update on recent events in the community, a suggested reading list, and a bibliography.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 352 pages
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.8in x 9.0in
ReviewsRobert Weiner and Richard Sharpless's illuminating collection of interviews conducted between the 1990s and the early 2000s adds to a growing, yet still slim, collection of literature that focuses on the post-war French Jewish experience.
In An Uncertain Future, Robert I. Weiner and Richard E. Sharpless have acrobatically balanced the sympathy of the caring friend and the detachment of the professional historian to create the best study of provincial Jewish life in contemporary France. The interviews show the devastating personal impact of international events and offer unparalleled insights into the complex relationship of Muslims and Jews. An Uncertain Future is essential reading for any course on contemporary Jewish history or contemporary France, and a welcome addition to all classes on today's Europe.
James Collins, Georgetown University
A unique and original account of a typical French provincial Jewish community and its challenges from the postwar period to the present. Through the use of interviews and other direct sources from Dijon Jewry, the authors have managed to construct an invaluable portrait of a community facing local problems of a particular kind but also exemplifying virtually all the problems facing French Jewry today.
Irwin Wall, University of California, Riverside
An Uncertain Future is a fascinating collection of testimonies from the Jews in Dijon about the joys and sorrows of their lives and those of their families in twentieth-century France. Readers will be engaged and moved by the autobiographical accounts of these decent people struggling with the Holocaust and its legacies and their continuing efforts to carve out lives in a France again witness to the specter of anti-Semitism.
Bertram M. Gordon, Mills College
An unusual insider portrait of a Jewish community in continual transition. The interviews as well as articles taken from the local Jewish newspaper offer rich materials for understanding Jewish identity in contemporary France.
Susan A. Ashley, Colorado College
Author InformationRobert I. Weiner is the Thomas Roy and Laura Forrest Jones Professor of History and Jewish Chaplain at Lafayette College. He has authored numerous articles on French, European, and Jewish history and is the author of The Long 19th Century: European History from 1789 to 1917 (2005).
Richard E. Sharpless is Professor Emeritus of History at Lafayette College. He is the author of books and numerous articles in American and Latin American history.
Table of contentsAcknowledgements
Preface: Why Dijon?
Introduction: Meet Jewish Dijon
Map of Central Dijon with Major Jewish Sites
Speaking About Jewish Life in Dijon: Interviews
The Synagogue Center
The Lubavitch Group
Writing About Jewish Life in Dijon: Mazal Tov
Conclusion: An Uncertain Future
Glossary and Abbreviations
Subjects and Courses