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Till Death Do Us PartAmerican Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed$
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Allan Amanik and Kami Fletcher

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496827883

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496827883.001.0001

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“A Beautiful Garden Consecrated to the Lord”: Marriage, Death, and Local Constructions of Citizenship in New York’s Nineteenth-Century Jewish Rural Cemeteries

“A Beautiful Garden Consecrated to the Lord”: Marriage, Death, and Local Constructions of Citizenship in New York’s Nineteenth-Century Jewish Rural Cemeteries

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter One “A Beautiful Garden Consecrated to the Lord”: Marriage, Death, and Local Constructions of Citizenship in New York’s Nineteenth-Century Jewish Rural Cemeteries
Source:
Till Death Do Us Part
Author(s):

Allan Amanik

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496827883.003.0002

This chapter explores immigration, race, and religion through the nation’s first Jewish rural cemeteries of the 1850s. These grounds embodied an important duality for Jewish New Yorkers’ social belonging to an emerging white middle class while also safeguarding Jewish particularity and continuity. Still recent Jewish immigrants eagerly participated in the Rural Cemetery Movement, laying out lavish cemeteries and embracing its universalism by setting those grounds in closer proximity than ever before to non-sectarian Christian counterparts. Conversely, Jews of all stripes made sure to cluster together behind clear physical barriers, and nearly all synagogues and Jewish fraternities prohibited Christian burial and maintained old links between interment rights and intermarriage. Aware of increasing acceptance in the United States, Jewish New Yorkers celebrated their costly new cemeteries as symbols of mobility and belonging. At the same time, they doubled down on physical, ritual, and intangible divisions within them to temper that integration.

Keywords:   Rural Cemetery Movement, Intermarriage, Jewish, New York, immigrant

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