Friday, October 7, 2016

19th C. Etiquette for Jewish Girls

When she is acquiring her education, it is true, she may go to the public school, but even there the teachings of her home are strong upon her, and she is not so free with her boy companions as is her Christian contemporary. 

America's Daughters of Israel

The Hebrew girl, except among the very wealthy and most thoroughly Americanized families, lives in a state of semi-oriental seclusion. When she is acquiring her education, it is true, she may go to the public school, but even there the teachings of her home are strong upon her, and she is not so free with her boy companions as is her Christian contemporary. 

Her school days once over, she becomes a home bird to a very great extent. It is not proper according to Jewish etiquette for her to accept an invitation to a theater from a young man to whom she is not engaged, if she does, it is immediately taken for granted that the couple are engaged.

 If she goes to a sociable or party her brother or some other member of her family, is almost invariably her escort, though, once arrived at the place of merriment, she mixes as freely with those about her as do Christian girls. Her jollity on such occasions is unconfined and sometimes smacks of old-time Methodist heartiness. 

The kissing games of our ancestors are occasionally introduced with effect; and she proves herself one of the most lively and charming of girls, a perfect romp in fact. The party over, however, away she goes home; in charge of her brother, whose place no young man can usurp unless he engages himself to her. – American Queen, 1884

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