Judaism in America

Kobo ebook | June 19, 2012

byMarc Lee Raphael

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Jews have been a religious and cultural presence in America since the colonial era, and the community of Jews in the United States today-some six million people-continues to make a significant contribution to the American religious landscape. Emphasizing developments in American Judaism in the last quarter century among active participants in Jewish worship, this book provides both a look back into the 350-year history of Judaic life and a well-crafted portrait of a multifaceted tradition today. Combining extensive research into synagogue archival records and secondary sources as well as interviews and observations of worship services at more than a hundred Jewish congregations across the country, Raphael’s study distinguishes itself as both a history of the Judaic tradition and a witness to the vitality and variety of contemporary American Judaic life. Beginning with a chapter on beliefs, festivals, and life-cycle events, both traditional and non-traditional, and an explanation of the enormous variation in practice, Raphael then explores Jewish history in America, from the arrival of the first Jews to the present, highlighting the emergence and development of the four branches: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform. After documenting the considerable variety among the branches, the book addresses issues of some controversy, notably spirituality, conversion, homosexuality, Jewish education, synagogue architecture, and the relationship to Israel. Raphael turns next to a discussion of eight American Jews whose thoughts and/or activities made a huge impact on American Judaism. The final chapter focuses on the return to tradition in every branch of Judaism and examines prospects for the future.

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Jews have been a religious and cultural presence in America since the colonial era, and the community of Jews in the United States today-some six million people-continues to make a significant contribution to the American religious landscape. Emphasizing developments in American Judaism in the last quarter century among active particip...

Marc Lee Raphael is the Nathan and Sophia Professor of Judaic Studies, professor of religious studies, and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of several books on Jews and Judaism in America, including Abba Hillel Silver: A Profile in American Judaism.

other books by Marc Lee Raphael

The Synagogue in America: A Short History
The Synagogue in America: A Short History

Kobo ebook|Apr 18 2011

$30.39 online$39.37list price(save 22%)
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 19, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231512449

ISBN - 13:9780231512442

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Table of Contents

What is American Judaism
Beliefs, Festivals, and Life-cycle Events
A History of Judaism in America
Institutions, Organizations, and American Jewish Religious Activity
The Synagogue
The Future of American Judaism
Select Profiles of Judaic Thinkers in America
The Retrieval of Tradition

Editorial Reviews

An excellent overview of the transformation of Judaism in the United States.