Deborah Feldman

  • Judenfetisch
  • Literature

What does “being Jewish” mean today? Deborah Feldman, raised by Holocaust survivors in the U.S. and emigrating to Germany of all places, talks about a term that is always also an attribution, a limitation, a projection, in both the negative and the positive. Her examination of her cultural heritage – and the burden it imposes – also includes an effort to incorporate Jewishness into something larger, more diverse, more humane. It is a plea for more commonality across borders – and an encouragement to all those who want to break free from the trap of group pressures to define their identity freely and self-determinedly.

Deborah Feldman is a German-American author; she was born in New York in 1986 and grew up with her grandparents, Holocaust survivors from Hungary. Her autobiographical story Unorthodox (2012) is a New York Times bestseller that has been translated into several languages and made into a film.

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