The Jew Within: Self, Family, And Community In America

Hardcover | November 22, 2000

bySteven M. Cohen, Arnold M. Eisen

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"Cohen and Eisen have written that rare work, a book that really matters! With clarity and grace, The Jew Within tells the story of how American Jews live and understand their Judaism over the span of their lives, in their families, and among their friends." -Riv-Ellen Prell

"... a marvelous book. The authors have succeeded in conveying in a very convincing manner the meaning of Jewish identity, Jewish belief, and Jewish practice among a most... important sector of American Jews: the baby-boomer generation." -Charles S. Liebman

Rocked by reports of soaring intermarriage rates, rampant assimilation, and diminishing population, the American Jewish community has been concerned with issues of Jewish identification and continuity. What factors shape, nourish, and sustain Jewish commitment? What leads some Jews to place Jewish commitment at the center of their lives, while others consign it to the margins? What matters most to American Jews and why? Through in-depth interviews with Jews across the country, Arnold M. Eisen and Steven M. Cohen, two of the keenest observers and analysts of American Jewish life, probe beneath the surface to explore the foundations of belief and behavior among moderately affiliated American Jews. Among their thought-provoking conclusions are that the construction of Jewish meaning in America is personal and private and that communal loyalties and norms no longer shape Jewish identity as they did several decades ago. The rich and moving personal narratives presented by the authors, accompanied by insightful analysis, raise important questions for all those concerned with the meaning and future of Judaism in American life.

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From the Publisher

"Cohen and Eisen have written that rare work, a book that really matters! With clarity and grace, The Jew Within tells the story of how American Jews live and understand their Judaism over the span of their lives, in their families, and among their friends." -Riv-Ellen Prell"... a marvelous book. The authors have succeeded in conveying...

Steven M. Cohen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Melton Center for Jewish Education, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is author of American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? (Indiana University Press) and co-author (with Charles Liebman) of Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences. Arnold M. Eisen is Pr...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1 inPublished:November 22, 2000Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253337828

ISBN - 13:9780253337825

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. The Sovereign Self
3. All in the Family
4. Ritual Options
5. Echoes of Tribalism
6. The Retreat of Public Judaism
7. God and the Synagogue
8. Conclusion
Appendix A: The Interview Guide
Appendix B: The Survey
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"... [S]ocial scientists Cohen and Eisen present the most up-to-date analysis of what being Jewish means to moderately affiliated American Jews... [T]his book constitutes an intelligent, learned, and engaging start for what is sure to be the next generation of assessments of American Jewish identity." -Choice