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The Columbia History Of Jews And Judaism In America

Author: Marc Lee Raphael
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231132239
Size: 32.68 MB
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This collection focuses on a variety of important themes in the American Jewish and Judaic experience. It opens with essays on early Jewish settlers (1654-1820), the expansion of Jewish life in America (1820-1901), the great wave of eastern European Jewish immigrants (1880-1924), the character of American Judaism between the two world wars, American Jewish life from the end of World War II to the Six-Day War, and the growth of Jews' influence and affluence. The second half of the volume includes essays on Orthodox Jews, the history of Jewish education in America, the rise of Jewish social clubs at the turn of the century, the history of southern and western Jewry, Jewish responses to Nazism and the Holocaust, feminism's confrontation with Judaism, and the eternal question of what defines American Jewish culture. Original and elegantly crafted, The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America not only introduces the student to a thrilling history, but also provides the scholar with new perspectives and insights.

Judaism In America

Author: Marc Lee Raphael
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512449
Size: 77.52 MB
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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.

The Synagogue In America

Author: Marc Lee Raphael
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 081477704X
Size: 28.40 MB
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In 1789, when George Washington was elected the first president of the United States, laymen from all six Jewish congregations in the new nation sent him congratulatory letters. He replied to all six. Thus, after more than a century of Jewish life in colonial America the small communities of Jews present at the birth of the nation proudly announced their religious institutions to the country and were recognized by its new leader. By this time, the synagogue had become the most significant institution of American Jewish life, a dominance that was not challenged until the twentieth century, when other institutions such as Jewish community centers or Jewish philanthropic organizations claimed to be the hearts of their Jewish communities. Concise yet comprehensive, The Synagogue in America is the first history of this all-important structure, illuminating its changing role within the American Jewish community over the course of three centuries. From Atlanta and Des Moines to Los Angeles and New Orleans, Marc Lee Raphael moves beyond the New York metropolitan area to examine Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstuctionist synagogue life everywhere. Using the records of approximately 125 Jewish congregations, he traces the emergence of the synagogue in the United States from its first instances in the colonial period, when each of the half dozen initial Jewish communities had just one synagogue each, to its proliferation as the nation and the American Jewish community grew and diversified. Encompassing architecture, forms of worship, rabbinic life, fundraising, creative liturgies, and feminism, The Synagogue in America is the go-to history for understanding the synagogue’s significance in American Jewish life.

Jews Against Prejudice

Author: Stuart Svonkin
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231106399
Size: 78.49 MB
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Recounts how Jewish organizations for fighting antisemitism became leaders against all prejudice

Torn At The Roots

Author: Michael E. Staub
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231506430
Size: 26.82 MB
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When Jewish neoconservatives burst upon the political scene, many people were surprised. Conventional wisdom held that Jews were uniformly liberal. This book explodes the myth of a monolithic liberal Judaism. Michael Staub tells the story of the many fierce battles that raged in postwar America over what the authentically Jewish position ought to be on issues ranging from desegregation to Zionism, from Vietnam to gender relations, sexuality, and family life. Throughout the three decades after 1945, Michael Staub shows, American Jews debated the ways in which the political commitments of Jewish individuals and groups could or should be shaped by their Jewishness. Staub shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the liberal position was never the obvious winner in the contest. By the late 1960s left-wing Jews were often accused by their conservative counterparts of self-hatred or of being inadequately or improperly Jewish. They, in turn, insisted that right-wing Jews were deaf to the moral imperatives of both the Jewish prophetic tradition and Jewish historical experience, which obliged Jews to pursue social justice for the oppressed and the marginalized. Such declamations characterized disputes over a variety of topics: American anticommunism, activism on behalf of African American civil rights, imperatives of Jewish survival, Israel and Israeli-Palestinian relations, the 1960s counterculture, including the women's and gay and lesbian liberation movements, and the renaissance of Jewish ethnic pride and religious observance. Spanning these controversies, Staub presents not only a revelatory and clear-eyed prehistory of contemporary Jewish neoconservatism but also an important corrective to investigations of "identity politics" that have focused on interethnic contacts and conflicts while neglecting intraethnic ones. Revising standard assumptions about the timing of Holocaust awareness in postwar America, Staub charts how central arguments over the Holocaust's purported lessons were to intra-Jewish political conflict already in the first two decades after World War II. Revisiting forgotten artifacts of the postwar years, such as Jewish marriage manuals, satiric radical Zionist cartoons, and the 1970s sitcom about an intermarried couple entitled Bridget Loves Bernie, and incidents such as the firing of a Columbia University rabbi for supporting anti-Vietnam war protesters and the efforts of the Miami Beach Hotel Owners Association to cancel an African Methodist Episcopal Church convention, Torn at the Roots sheds new light on an era we thought we knew well.

The Rise And Fall Of The Jewish Gangster In America

Author: Albert Fried
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231096836
Size: 59.69 MB
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This book tracks the rise and fall of an underworld culture that bred some of America's greatest racketeers, bootleggers, gamblers, and professional killers, examining the careers of such high-profile figures as Meyer Lansky and Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.

Jews And The American Religious Landscape

Author: Uzi Rebhun
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023154149X
Size: 37.58 MB
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Jews and the American Religious Landscape explores major complementary facets of American Judaism and Jewish life through a comprehensive analysis of contemporary demographic and sociological data. Focusing on the most important aspects of social development—geographic location, socioeconomic stratification, family dynamics, group identification, and political orientation—the volume adds empirical value to questions concerning the strengths of Jews as a religious and cultural group in America and the strategies they have developed to integrate successfully into a Christian society. With advanced analyses of data gathered by the Pew Research Center, Jews and the American Religious Landscape shows that Jews, like other religious and ethnic minorities, strongly identify with their religion and culture. Yet their particular religiosity, along with such factors as population dispersion, professional networks, and education, have created different outcomes in various contexts. Living under the influence of a Christian majority and a liberal political system has also cultivated a distinct ethos of solidarity and egalitarianism, enabling Judaism to absorb new patterns in ways that mirror its integration into American life. Rich in information thoughtfully construed, this book presents a remarkable portrait of what it means to be an American Jew today.

Contemporary American Judaism

Author: Dana Evan Kaplan
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023113729X
Size: 17.22 MB
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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 all over 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 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 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 the innovative approaches supplanting existing institutions. The result is an exciting transformation of what it means to be a religious American Jew in the twenty-first century.

The Birth Of Conservative Judaism

Author: Michael R. Cohen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231156359
Size: 23.11 MB
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Solomon Schechter (1847--1915), the charismatic leader of New York's Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), came to America in 1902 intent on revitalizing traditional Judaism. While he advocated a return to traditional practices, Schechter articulated no clear position on divisive issues, instead preferring to focus on similarities that could unite American Jewry under a broad message. Michael R. Cohen demonstrates how Schechter, unable to implement his vision on his own, turned to his disciples, rabbinical students and alumni of JTS, to shape his movement. By midcentury, Conservative Judaism had become the largest American Jewish grouping in the United States, guided by Schechter's disciples and their continuing efforts to embrace diversity while eschewing divisive debates. Yet Conservative Judaism's fluid boundaries also proved problematic for the movement, frustrating many rabbis who wanted a single platform to define their beliefs. Cohen demonstrates how a legacy of tension between diversity and boundaries now lies at the heart of Conservative Judaism's modern struggle for relevance. His analysis explicates four key claims: that Conservative Judaism's clergy, not its laity or Seminary, created and shaped the movement; that diversity was -- and still is -- a crucial component of the success and failure of new American religions; that the Conservative movement's contemporary struggle for self-definition is tied to its origins; and that the porous boundaries between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism reflect the complexity of the American Jewish landscape -- a fact that Schechter and his disciples keenly understood. Rectifying misconceptions in previous accounts of Conservative Judaism's emergence, Cohen's study enables a fresh encounter with a unique religious phenomenon.

African Americans And Jews In The Twentieth Century

Author: V. P. Franklin
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826260581
Size: 42.79 MB
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In recent scholarship, academics have focused primarily on areas of conflict between Blacks and Jews; yet, in the long struggle to bring social justice to American society, these two groups have often worked as allies in both the organized labor and the civil rights movements. Demonstrating the complexity of the relationship of Blacks and Jews in America, African Americans and Jews in the Twentieth Century examines the competition and solidarity that have characterized Black-Jewish interactions over the past century. These essays provide an intellectual foundation for cooperative efforts to improve social justice in our society and are an invaluable resource for the study of race relations in twentieth-century America. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.