With a name like Jacobs….

When Jane Jacobs passed away a couple of weeks ago, I was among the many people who assumed that she was Jewish. I had even met her at a Klezmer concert. But then we began researching her family history for an “In Memoriam” piece on the Jewish Women’s Archive and discovered what I had begun to suspect: she wasn’t Jewish. It wasn’t even a matter of claiming as Wikipedia and the JTA (probably based on the Wikipedia article) do, that she was of Jewish parentage (the name came from her husband who appears to have been Catholic – her maiden name was Butzner, a name not associated with Judaism in her hometown of Scranton, PA).
Who knew? (If anyone has more information, I’d love to hear it – I never heard or read her speak to religion more specifically than to espouse atheism.)
But, she was still a remarkable woman who raised hell and changed the way we understand cities for the better.

3 thoughts on “With a name like Jacobs….

  1. (incidentally, kei’s name is Jewish but she is only slightly ethnically so. well-diluted ancestry.)
    This is not related but will be oof interest to anyone who digs cartoons …and readily available hate literature. We have been sure insane crossworshipping tract artist Jack T Chick was a typical anti-Semitic Zionist of convenience for as long as we have been obsessed with his ouerve, but the new tract out this month, besides being a significant artistic departure from the four to six previous styles, has the most lurid “dirty Jew types” outside a Metzger cartoon. Forget record company executive Lew Siffer, these long-lost brothers (their faces are identical, distinguished by a rat tail mustache and glasses) have the classic Abe Foxman triangular facial profile that most American Jews don’t have. And their noses are so huge they can only have come from hate literature (we were reminded of Metzger’s Jewish noses, which have a distinctive rodent-like appearance and look nothing like any real person we’ve seen). This is really creepy. Is Chick getting unhinged?
    The material is here and it is probably offensive (well, more so than “where’s rabbi waxman,” in which we not only learn that Jews admit to the veracity of the gospels when you put words in their mouths, and will go to Hell, but see poor rav W nekkid as well…)

  2. I had a g-g-grandmother who’s pre-marriage name was Esther Jacobs daughter of Levi who married Noah ben Hezekiah… All calvinists 🙁

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