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Jews, God, and VideotapeReligion and Media in America$
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Jeffrey Shandler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740675

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740675.001.0001

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Observant Jews

Observant Jews

(p.144) 4 Observant Jews
Jews, God, and Videotape

Jeffrey Shandler

NYU Press

This chapter examines how films and videos documenting life-cycle celebrations have transformed the nature of many American Jews’ experience of ritual. Within the expansion of personal photodocumentation over the course of the past century, film and video making have had a significant impact on preparing, enacting, and recollecting rites associated with birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. In addition to serving frequently as the organizing principle of staging and remembering rituals, these films and videos have at times become an important component of the ritual experience itself, which some participants consider incomplete until they have witnessed the ritual’s photodocumentation.

Keywords:   life-cycle celebrations, American Jews, photodocumentation, ritual experience

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