Contemporary American Judaism: Transformation and Renewal

Kobo ebook | June 1, 2010

byDana Evan Kaplan

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No longer controlled by a handful of institutional leaders based in remote headquarters and rabbinical seminaries, American Judaism is being transformed by the spiritual decisions of tens of thousands of Jews living in all corners of the United States. A pulpit rabbi and himself an American Jew, Dana Evan Kaplan follows this religious individualism from its postwar suburban roots to the hippie revolution of the 1960s and the multiple postmodern identities of today.

From Hebrew tattooing to Jewish Buddhist meditation, Kaplan describes the remaking of historical tradition in ways that channel multiple ethnic and national identities. While pessimists worry about the vanishing American Jew, Kaplan focuses on the creative responses to contemporary spiritual trends that have made a Jewish religious renaissance possible. He believes that the reorientation of American Judaism has been a "bottom up" process, resisted by elites who have only reluctantly responded to the demands of the "spiritual marketplace." The American Jewish denominational structure is therefore weakening at the same time that religious experimentation is rising, leading to innovative approaches that are supplanting existing institutions. The result, as Kaplan makes clear, is an exciting transformation of what it means to be a religious Jew in twenty-first century America.

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No longer controlled by a handful of institutional leaders based in remote headquarters and rabbinical seminaries, American Judaism is being transformed by the spiritual decisions of tens of thousands of Jews living in all corners of the United States. A pulpit rabbi and himself an American Jew, Dana Evan Kaplan follows this religious ...

Dana Evan Kaplan is the rabbi of Temple B'nai Israel in Albany, Georgia, and adjunct professor of Jewish Studies at Gratz College. His books include The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism, American Reform Judaism: An Introduction, Platforms and Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaismand Contemp...

other books by Dana Evan Kaplan

American Reform Judaism: An Introduction
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The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism
The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism

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The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism
The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism

Kobo ebook|Aug 1 2005

$32.39 online$41.99list price(save 22%)
see all books by Dana Evan Kaplan
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 1, 2010Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231510411

ISBN - 13:9780231510417

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Rabbi David Ellenson
Preface
Acknowledgments
Chronology of Events
Introduction
1. A Historical Overview from 1945
2. The Reengagement with Spirituality
3. The Rise and Fall of American Jewish Denominationalism
4. Facing the Collapse of the Intermarriage Stigma
5. Inclusivity as a Social Value
6. Radical Responses to the Suburban Experience
7. The Popularization of Jewish Mystical Outreach
8. Herculean Efforts at Synagogue Renewal
Conclusion: The Future of Judaism in America
Afterword, by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Notes
Glossary
Index

Editorial Reviews

Kaplan's book is exhaustive in detail and broad in scope, touching on the fundamental challenges to contemporary Judaism in America from intermarriage, conversion, and the end of religious denominations to questions of ethnicity, spirituality, Israel, and the Holocaust.