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Abstract

During World War I, American Jews of different religious practices and economic standing found a common point of interest in international aid through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The JDC’s fundraising tactics specifically demonstrated an attempt to combine American patriotism and Jewish philanthropy. Food in the context of World War I symbolized not only sustenance for European Jewry, but was utilized as a tool to negotiate religious and cultural identity. Gift-giving in the form of Jewish war relief during World War I, thus can be analyzed an expression of American Jewish exceptionalism.

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