The American Jewish Year Book, a Record for Posterity

A mother and daughter lighting candles on a Hanukkah menorah. (Getty Images)
Mother and daughter lighting Hanukkah menorah.

For many years, UConn emeritus professor of sociology Arnold Dashefsky has collaborated with his colleague Ira M. Sheskin of the University of Miami as co-editors of the American Jewish Year Book, considered to be the authoritative record of North American Jewish communities.

The 2018 edition of the Year Book, which has been in continuous publication since 1899, was published recently by Springer, a leading academic publishing house.

Dashefsky says he and Sheskin view their work as leaving a record for posterity about Jews in America, who make up 2 percent of the United States population.

Dashefsky serves as senior academic consultant of the Berman Jewish Data Bank, which he led from 2004 to 2013, and remains active as a scholar, writer, and classroom professor. This fall he will again teach his class on the Sociology of Anti-Semitism.

In an interview with podcaster Ken Best, he discussed the global interest and importance of keeping records on the Jewish population in America, and the challenges of updating the year book as Jewish identity continues to evolve in the United States.

Listen to the podcast:

 

For full episodes of the UConn 360 podcast, visit uconn.edu/uconn360-podcast.