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Kugel and Frijoles: Latino Jews in the United States

Winner of the 2020 Best Book in Latin American Jewish Studies

Kugel and Frijoles: Latino Jews in the United States analyzes the changing construction of race and ethnicity in the United States through the lens of contemporary Jewish immigrants from Latin America. Since Latino Jews are not easily classified within the U.S. racial and ethnic schema, their ethnic identity and group affiliation challenge existing paradigms.

As the Latino population continues to grow in the United States, so does the influence of millions of Latinos on U.S. culture, politics, economy, and social structure. Kugel and Frijoles offers new insight with which to understand the diversity of Latinos, the incorporation of contemporary Jewish immigrants, and the effect of U.S. ethno-racial structures for immigrant assimilation.

Available for purchase:

Wayne State University Press




Full of rich and absorbing ethnographic material, Kugel and Frijoles provides important insights into the experiences of a fascinating immigrant group. Written in a highly readable style, the book enriches our understanding of how immigrants construct ethnic and racial identities in the U.S. today.

– Nancy Foner, co-author of Strangers No More: Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe

Limonic’s research describes Latino Jews’ interactions within the larger U.S. Jewish and Latino populations, their countries of origin, and Israel. In addition to richly documenting these communities, Kugel and Frijoles offers a suggestive model for interpreting the emergent social forms, identities, and relations that are developing in globally linked localities of the contemporary world.

– Steven J. Gold, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University

Laura Limonic has written an eye-opening study of Latin American Jewish immigrants to the United States that in graceful prose comprehensively explores the complexities of ethnic and religious identity of this hybrid group that has made a virtue of its multiple attachments and cultural roots. Drawing from a rich ethnographic field study as well as her own Jewish Latina background, Limonic has given us a pathbreaking introduction to a fascinating population.

– Samuel Heilman, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Holder of the Proshansky Chair of Jewish Studies, CUNY

Kugel and Frijoles adds a fresh and vibrant perspective to the growing body of scholarship on race, ethnicity, and contemporary American Jewish life. Limonic’s work raises important questions regarding the intersection of race, ethnicity, religion, and class during a time of rapid growth among a widely diverse Latino immigrant population to the U.S.

– Helen K. Kim, professor of sociology, Whitman College

Quite simply, Laura Limonic owns the intersection of Jewish and Latino identities. Her book is utterly of the moment and yet also historically astute. It is an essential edition to the scholarship on an emergent part of American Jewry.

– Samuel G. Freedman, author of Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights

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