A Very Special Life: The Bernice Chronicles: One Woman's Odyssey Through Twentieth Century Jewish America



This book tells the story of mid-20th century Jewish America through the eyes of Bernice Cohen Schwartz, born in NYC in 1923. The oldest daughter of a family of Eastern European origin, Bernice had an American-born mother, but in other things was similar to her contemporaries, reflecting the lives of a generation of pre-WWI urban Jews in America with immigrant parents.

Her life story reflects much of the development of American Jewry during the middle of the 20th century: the Great Depression, the Second World War, the development of Zionism, the response to the new State of Israel, and the development of Jewish suburbia. We follow Bernice's school years during the Depression, her connection with the Bronx Y, her college studies, her stint in the Women's Land Army, study trip to Israel in 1949, and marriage to Arthur Schwartz, a young army veteran and social work student from Nyack, NY.

After the couple's odyssey through several East Coast Jewish communities, they and their sons settled in Teaneck, New Jersey. We follow Bernice's response to her oldest son immigrating to Israel, and the couple's move to Riverdale, NY and life there during their "Golden Years" in the 21st century.

Product Details

Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der W
Publish Date
July 13, 2017
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Prof. Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz is the Director of the Schulman School of Basic Jewish Studies and Professor of Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University. She is the author of numerous books and articles and specializes in topics pertaining to Gender, Jewish religious life, the Holocaust, Memory, State of Israel, The United States, and Commemoration. Among her books are Double Jeopardy: Gender and the Holocaust (Vallentine Mitchell 1998), The Bergson Boys and the Origins of Contemporary Zionist Militancy (Syracuse UP 2005), Perfect Heroes: The World War II Parachutists and the making of Collective Israeli Memory (University Press of Wisconsin, 2010), Never Look Back: The Jewish Refugee Children in Great Britain 1938-1945 (Purdue University Press, 2012), Identity, Heroism and Religion in the Lives of Contemporary Jewish Women, (Peter Lang, 2013), and My Name is Freida Sima: The American-Jewish Women's Immigrant Experience Through the Eyes of a Young Girl from the Bukovina (Peter Lang, 2016).