Acculturation and Resistance: Jewish Immigrant Dining in Baltimore, 1890-1930




Louderback, Rebecca Anne

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Through examination of objects from the Jewish Museum of Maryland, Leo Baeck Institute, and Yeshiva University Archives, this thesis explores the acculturation of Eastern European immigrants in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1880 to 1930 Jewish immigrants making a home in Baltimore underwent a fundamental shift in their folkways (culture) as they accommodated the influence of American culture within the material subculture of Jewish religious practice; affluent middle- class Jewish families, and their poorer working-class counterparts, adopted and altered those American dining rules and regulations established by the upper class to suit their religious practices and their identities as upwardly mobile Jewish immigrants. Immigrants’ decisions to adhere to or to modify the rules of gentility ultimately enabled some to use dining objects to maintain their religious faith while for others the adoption of genteel rituals displaced it.



Jewish, Immigrant, Feminization, Dining, Acculturation, Assimilation