Wikipedia:WikiProject Jewish culture

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This WikiProject is concerned with Jewish culture.


The aim of this WikiProject is to expand and discuss articles related to all aspects of Jewish culture which are not overtly religious in nature. Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews, or even those of religious Jews working in cultural areas not generally considered to be connected to religion.

The word secular in secular Jewish culture, therefore, refers not to the type of Jew but rather to the type of culture. For example, religiously observant Orthodox Jews who write literature and music or produce films with non-religious themes are participating in secular Jewish culture, even if they are not secular themselves.

However, Judaism guides its adherents in both practice and belief, and has been called not only a religion, but also a "way of life," and an identity, which makes it difficult to draw a clear distinction between Judaism and Jewish culture. Furthermore, not all individuals or all cultural phenomena can be easily classified as either "secular" or "religious".

In many times and places, such as in the ancient Hellenic world, in Europe before and after the Enlightenment, and in the contemporary United States and Israel, cultural phenomena have developed that are in some sense characteristically Jewish without being at all specifically religious. Some factors in this come from within Judaism, others from the interaction of Jews with others around them, and others from the inner social and cultural dynamics of the community, as opposed to religion itself.

Topics covered by this Wikiproject include, but are not limited to, the Yiddish language, Jewish history, Jewish literature, Yiddish theatre and Jewish humor.

Note: Articles related to Judaism as a religion are dealt with by Wikipedia:WikiProject_Judaism.

Related WikiProjects[edit]

To do[edit]

edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wikipedia:WikiProject Jewish culture:

Current article list[edit]

A list of the articles currently included in the project is available on the page Category:WikiProject Jewish culture articles. Adding the template {{WikiProject Jewish culture}} to an article's talk page adds the article to this category.

Potential featured articles[edit]

  • Hanukkah is a fairly comprehensive article; I think it should get a few more edits and certainly a few more footnotes before review and the featured article candidate process. jnothman talk 23:40, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Articles for review[edit]

I'd like to flag the following article for editing:

It lists Anna Maria as an Orthodox Jewess, whereas she really, really wasn't. :) Her family was so well-integrated into British society as to have earned a baronetcy, and she herself was so far removed from Orthodox thought that she was one of the people who pushed them further into becoming separate movements (Orthodox vs Reform). I'm not saying it should be removed outright, but the word 'Orthodox' should be.

More info on her can be found here:

I advised my correspondent to Be Bold and edit it, but it might do for someone with an interest in the topic to cast an eye on it. --Slashme (talk) 06:38, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Jewish Music[edit]

The articles on Jewish Music are badly in need of reorganization. The article entitled "Jewish Music" should be "Jewish Liturgical Music" as it deals solely with this aspect of the subject. The subject of Jewish Art Music is covered in a section of "Jews in Secular Culture" and is rather haphazardly organized and written. Music of Israel is a separate article.

What needs to be done is to write a new article called "Jewish Music", which is general, and has pointers to all the more detailed articles.

Since moving or renaming articles is considered a ponderous act in wikiland, I would like to engender some discussion of this before I go ahead and start.

Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?

--Ravpapa 16:31, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

There is no article called Jews in Secular Culture (or Jews in secular culture). May I presume that you are referring to Secular Jewish culture, about half of which is my work?
I have no general objection to refactoring, and Secular Jewish culture is a large article that could certainly have sections broken out; however, I'm not sure I agree with the proposal. The music discussed in that article is all secular music by Jews, and is part of secular Jewish culture, but I'm not sure if I would agree with characterizing the music itself as Jewish. Is George Gershwin's music "Jewish music"? Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's? There are certainly some aspects of the music of each that reflects their Jewish heritage (Gershwin definitely borrowed liturgical themes; in Leiber and Stoller's case, Jewish influences are mainly in the observation that went into some of their lyrics), but to call the result "Jewish music" sounds a bit bizarre to me, almost racialist. Indeed, to call Gustav Mahler's of Kurt Weill's music "Jewish music" evokes the Nazis (though I realize that the eminently Jewish John Zorn would happily "claim" it as such).
Also, is there any objection to moving this discussion to the project talk page rather than project page? - Jmabel | Talk 02:33, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Yiddish writers[edit]

I've written more than two dozen entries on Yiddish prose-writers and poets in the Russian-language wiki (some widely known religious figures as well). It is quite problematic an undertaking there, because these entries are regularly suggested for deletion on grounds of "having too many Jews there already" (verbatim) and the like (in the Russian wiki this sort of language is permitted). Thus far only one is about to be actually removed (on poet Srul Bronshtein). However, now that I just started to translate the entries into the English and Yiddish wikipedias (see my first addition on Srul Bronshtein), the very same people immediately post these for deletion. This seems to be a sort of stalking, but since my experience with this is limited, I don't really know what to do. Any help? --SimulacrumDP 19:16, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

(sorry if what i said came across as questioning yours, i've since read your wp:judaism) this also raises another problem: i absentmindedly put the article in question on afd judaism related & it was, i guess rightly, removed. shld there be an afd sorting page for jewish history & culture? that is related afds that don't fit in either 'judaism' or 'israel'   bsnowball  10:59, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
See WP:STALK#Wikistalking. I left a friendly warning at the suspect's talk page. ←Humus sapiens ну? 11:24, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks.--SimulacrumDP 17:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


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Jew Bagel Award: Award for outstanding contribution to articles and topics on Jewish culture.


Project templates[edit]

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