notes - T uesday, January 26, 2010 Number Our Days by...

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010 Number Our Days by Barbara Myerhoff - 20 million Jews came in the early/mid 1900s - Children/grandchildren began to take pride in old world heritage/experience of family o Heritage o First time, because tradition dictated they should feel ashamed that parents were immigrants - Immigration slowed because of stricter immigration laws o Ellis island restoration/wall of honor o Debates over who is eligible to come - Myerhoff visited Jewish senior citizen center in Venice, CA o Decided not to do formal interviews o Instead, held classroom format – “Living History” - Decides to humble herself and takes mentor in Schmuel o Special bond; alternate turns teaching o No clear student/teacher roles – learning from each other - Spends most time in class listening, intervenes as little as possible o Poses ideas and lets subjects go with it where they will o “Secret Student” - Participant observation – learns by observing o Can never be objective o Different level of observation
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o Human beings are by nature engaging creatures, cannot be truly invisible - First encounter: old women on benches outside the center o Ask really personal questions (are you married? Are you Jewish? Do you have kids? Who is with your kids?) Perception as insider or outsider o Family brought up first (family is most important cohesive force in community; children/family is viewed as women’s ultimate job)
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notes - T uesday, January 26, 2010 Number Our Days by...

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