920 O'FARRELL STREET by Harriet Lane Levy


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In meticulous recall, loving and barbed, the author brings to life the forgotten prestige of the well-to-do Jewish community of O'Farrell Street, San Francisco. Early chapters reveal the heart and sold of the 900 block, until every Jewish household is profiled and the intricacies of the social ladder displayed. The days of childhood, and childish faith betrayed by maturer understanding. Then the house itself is the focus as a child relishes the grandeurs of the horrors of the turn of the century, the period of passementerie. Best is the chapter on the kitchen, the warmth, affection and interest in the detailed picture of the careful arrangement of dishes by Jewish ritual. Lastly the observance of the high holidays which preserved Judaism and made for the survival of a sense of apartness in American life. Just a suggestion of Mama's Bank Account in this portrait of a way of life.

Pub Date: June 5th, 1947
ISBN: 0548384479
Publisher: Doubleday