Making Jews Modern
Now in paperback

Making Jews Modern

The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires
Sarah Abrevaya Stein
Distribution: World
Publication date: 9/26/2006
Format: paper 328 pages, 48 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21893-3
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Winner, Salo Wittmayer Baron Prize for Best First Book in Jewish Studies, 2003
Finalist, Koret Jewish Book Award, 2004
“An engaging and thought-provoking analysis, . . . a pioneering foray into a new field of study, ‘Jews and Empires in History.’” —Slavic Review

On the eve of the 20th century, Jews in the Russian and Ottoman empires were caught up in the major cultural and social transformations that constituted modernity for Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewries. What did it mean to be Jewish and Russian, Jewish and Ottoman, Jewish and modern? To answer these questions, Sarah Abrevaya Stein explores the texts most widely consumed by Jewish readers: popular newspapers in Yiddish and Ladino. This skillful comparative study yields new perspectives on the role of print culture in imagining national and transnational communities and the diverse ways in which modernity was envisioned under the rule of empire.
Published with the generous support of the Koret Foundation.

Author Bio

Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington.


"Making Jews Modern is a major contribution to an understanding of modern Jewish history. It asks numerous historiographical questions and in so doing, traverses traditionally sealed terrains with regards to place and cultural groupings. . . . This is a complex and thought-provoking book." —Slavonic and East European Review , Vol. 88, no. 4, October 2010

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
Note on Transliterations, Dates, and Terms

Introduction: Making Jews Modern
Part One. The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires
1. Creating a Yiddish Newspaper Culture
2. Creating a Ladino Newspaper Culture
Part Two. Imaging Culture
3. Iconographies of Agitation
4. The Science of Healthy Living
Part Three. Advertising Aspiration
5. Images of Daily Life
6. Advertising Anxiety

Works Cited