Memories of Two Generations: A Yiddish Life in Russia and Texas (2016)
The Yiddish memoir of Alexander Ziskind Gurwitz, who immigrated from Russia to San Antonio, Texas, in 1910, appears in English for the first time. Gurwitz tells of his growth, education, and family life in Russia; the deep ties that bound him to the traditional Jewish community; his decision at the age of fifty-one to leave the place of his birth for America; and his nearly forty years in Texas struggling to preserve what he could of the religious identity that defined him.
Gurwitz’s memoir sheds valuable light on the inner workings of a small but viable Orthodox Jewish community in early-twentieth-century San Antonio, helping reframe the way scholars think about immigrant Jewish life in pockets of settlement far from the major urban centers of the East Coast and Midwest. . . Stone is to be commended for shepherding this valuable new edition of Gurwitz’s memoir into our hands.
— Joshua J. Furman, Journal of Southern History
The Chosen Folks: Jews on the Frontiers of Texas (2010)
A colorful, groundbreaking study of Jewish populations in Texas from late-sixteenth-century Spanish colonialism through the achievements of twentieth-century innovators. Texas has one of the largest Jewish populations in the South and West, comprising an often-overlooked vestige of the Diaspora. The Chosen Folks brings this rich aspect of the past to light, going beyond single biographies and photographic histories to explore the full evolution of the Jewish experience in Texas.
Winner of the 2011 Southern Jewish Historical Society Book Prize.
Bryan Stone is a gifted thinker and storyteller. His book on the history of Texas Jewry integrates the collective scholarship and memoirs of generations of writers into a cohesive account with a strong interpretive message.
— Hollace Ava Weiner, editor of Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas and author of Jewish Stars in Texas: Rabbis and Their Work
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