Item description for Jews in Blue: The Jewish American Experience in Law Enforcement by Jack Kitaeff...
This is the first book to describe the significant and critical contributions of Jewish Americans to law enforcement and police work beginning as early as 1657 in New Amsterdam. It portrays Jewish American men and women in the police departments of New York City and Los Angeles, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security who stepped forward in momentous times to save the nation from peril. Combining first hand interviews with penetrating contextual research, this book illuminates the heroes of the past and present who share a common Jewish America heritage. Hailed as an invaluable resource, a special hardcover edition of this book is also available that includes a Foreword by Dr. Harvey Schlossberg, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, St. John's University.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2006
Publisher Cambria Press
ISBN 1934043044 ISBN13 9781934043042
Availability 60 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 06:13.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Jews in Blue: The Jewish American Experience in Law Enforcement?
Informative History Jan 15, 2007
Disclaimer: My family and the Kitaeff family are friends.
It is good to read a book that dissipates the myth that Jews don't go into law enforcement, or that law enforcement is somehow inconsistent with a well-lived Jewish life. Even we Jews are guilty of stereotyping ourselves as doctors, lawyers, scientists, accountants or members of some other profession requiring an advanced degree. We Jews invented the joke, "What do you call a Jew with a bachelor's degree? Dropout." If a Jew isn't in a profession requiring at least thirty or forty thousand years of advanced education, then even we Jews stereotype ourselves into Tevye the milkman or the grandfather on Lies My Father Told Me, shouting out "Raags, clooothes, bottles!!"
Dr. Kitaeff has shed light on a side of Jewish undertaking that has somehow remained obscured even to Jews. Jews get bachelors degrees and then go into police work. And, imagine this, police work is intellectually-challenging. And of course, in addition to Jewish police officers, there are Jewish prosecutors who seek out the office of prosecutor for its own sake.
This makes sense. Jews invented written laws that applied to everyone -- including the king. Jews not only invented laws, but Jews invented standardized punishment, and invented the concept that the punishment should fit the crime. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" means nothing more than that. Jews were the ones who eliminated the death penalty for crimes against property. In the Old West, perhaps one could get hung for horse-stealing, but the concept of "an eye for an eye" means that the Jewish court would make you pay for the horse. Putting someone to death for stealing an animal would have appalled Moses, who handed down the law from Mt. Sinai.
Jewish scriptural interpretation exists as a way of life even now -- but not just to become closer to G-d. The Bible is the law, and the Talmud and other works of Scriptural interpretation, explicate the law. A government of laws that apply to everyone, even-handedly, and that are spelled out so that everyone can follow them, and the consequences for the violation of those laws are predictable, and not dependent on the whim or caprice of the sovereign -- these are core Jewish concepts.
Protecting the innocent is also a core Jewish concept. Much of Jewish law speaks to the treatment of those people -- children, strangers, and even animals -- who cannot speak for themselves. The major function of law enforcement is to protect the innocent.
Dr. Kitaeff's book should be required reading for anyone interested in a career in law enforcement, as well as for Jews interested in a side of our history that until now had not been illuminated.