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Life Not Death in Venice: The Transmission of an Endangered Tradition

In 1971 I began an anthropological study of "Ethnicity and Aging," part of a larger project entitled "Social Contexts of Aging." Funded in part by the National Science Foundation it concentrated on a community of very old immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe, the focus of whose social life was the Israel Levin Senior Adult Center in Venice, California. Throughout my work there a singular and dominant theme was apparent: the invisibility of older people in today's society.

Among very old people, deprived of natural intergenerational continuity and unable to transmit their ethnic culture or personal histories to their progeny, the problem of ...

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