Deborah Dash Moore is the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of a trilogy covering the history of American Jews in the twentieth century, beginning with the experience of Jews in New York City, then moving on to GI Jews: How World War II Changed a Generation (2004), and ending with histories of Jews in the postwar decades. Her books have regularly garnered awards, including most recently a National Jewish Book Award for the coedited work, City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York, With a Visual Essay by Diana L. Linden (2012). Her most recent book is Jewish New York: The Remarkable Story of a City and a People (2017).
Until Jews settled in the suburbs in the decades after World War II, most American Jews lived in cities. In fact, for several centuries, five cities with the largest Jewish populations accounted for 75% of American Jews. Urbanism and Judaism went hand in hand as Jews created new forms of religion rooted in their experiences of living in cities. This lecture explores key aspects of Judaism as it emerged from encounters with American cities.