Jew­boy of the South

  • From the Publisher
March 29, 2018

Inspir­ing, sus­pense­ful, some­times bru­tal, often hilar­i­ous and erot­ic, Jew­boy of the South con­veys the sto­ry of a Jew­ish teenag­er and his strug­gles, with the help of his only-in-the-South coterie – black and white – to make peace with his reli­gion, tikkun olam, his rag­ing hor­mones, and love, all while fight­ing to free his false­ly accused black carpenter/​philosopher hero.

Faced with a bit­ter schism between the Ortho­dox and Reform com­mu­ni­ties, Don­ny Cohen con­fronts and chal­lenges, through legal and non­le­gal means, the racism and anti-Semi­tism of his town’s jus­tice sys­tem and its civic and fun­da­men­tal­ist reli­gious lead­ers, both Jew­ish and gen­tile. In his quest, he must grap­ple with the con­tra­dic­tions and moral lessons of Judaism.

Jew­boy of the South reflects Koplen’s acute obser­va­tions about grow­ing up in the 1950s and 60s in a small South­ern city with a tiny Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. His fam­i­ly’s cloth­ing store, still there since the 1880s, served both blacks and whites, includ­ing the Klan, and informed his own unique world view and activism.

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