This remarkable memoir by Menachem Mendel Frieden illuminates Jewish experience in all three of the most significant centers of Jewish life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It chronicles Frieden's early years in Eastern Europe, his subsequent migration to the United States, and, finally, his settlement in Palestine in 1921. The memoir appears here translated from its original Hebrew, edited and annotated by Frieden's grandson, the historian Lee Shai Weissbach.
Frieden's story provides a window onto Jewish life in an era that saw the encroachment of modern ideas into a traditional society, great streams of migration, and the project of Jewish nation building in Palestine. The memoir follows Frieden's student life in the yeshivas of Eastern Europe, the practices of peddlers in the American South, and the complexities of British policy in Palestine between the two World Wars. This first-hand account calls attention to some often ignored aspects of the modern Jewish experience and provides invaluable insight into the history of the time.
About the author
Lee Shai Weissbach is Professor of History at the University of Louisville. His previous publications include The Synagogues of Kentucky: Architecture and History (1995), and Jewish Life in Small-Town America: A History (2005).