American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective

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American freedom, opportunity and voluntarism has created challenges to the traditional faith and practice of all religious denominations. Jeffrey S. Gurock's pathbreaking work on the history of Jewish Orthodoxy in America has identified and explored the many ways that one religious group responded to those challenges. His model and influential studies of the American Orthodox rabbinate and synagogue have shown that attitudes favoring religious reconciliation and accommodation to the American environment were not less important than Orthodoxy's staunch resistance to that same environment. His seminal work has challenged scholars to understand that Orthodoxy is composed of a spectrum of approaches and has demonstrated that merely labelling a person or institution as "Orthodox" is only the first step towards understanding a particular stance on the most contentious of issues. American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective brings together fifteen of Professor Gurock's most important essays with a new introduction that places his work in historiographical perspective. Beginning with his now-classic "Resisters and Accommodators" and "The Orthodox Synagogue," which provide the general viewpoint for what follows, this collection proceeds to individual case studies that examine the ways in which Orthodox Jews understood Christian religious threats, the challenges of modern Zionist ideologies, the varieties of Orthodox lay behavior, profiles of influential Orthodox rabbis, the styles of American Orthodox synagogues, and a description of one type of Orthodox day-school education.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881255676
  • Publisher: KTAV Publishing House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Historiographical Context
1 Resisters and Accommodators: Varieties of Orthodox Rabbis in America, 1886-1983 1
2 The Orthodox Synagogue 63
3 How "Frum" Was Rabbi Jacob Joseph's Court? Americanization Within the Lower East Side's Orthodox Elite, 1886-1902 103
4 American Orthodox Organizations in Support of Zionism, 1880-1930 117
5 Jacob A. Riis: Christian Friend or Missionary Foe: Two Jewish Views 135
6 Jewish Communal Divisiveness in Response to Christian Influences on the Lower East Side, 1900-1910 153
7 Why Albert Lucas Did Not Serve in the New York Kehillah 167
8 In Search of the Other Jewish Center: On the Writing of the Social History of American Orthodoxy, 1900-1918 181
9 From Exception to Role Model: Bernard Drachman and the Evolution of Jewish Religious Life in America, 1880-1920 201
10 A Generation Unaccounted For in American Judaism 233
11 Time, Place, and Movement in Immigrant Jewish Historiography 247
12 A Stage in the Emergence of the Americanized Synagogue among East European Jews: 1890-1910 265
13 Consensus Building and Conflict over Creating the Young People's Synagogue of the Lower East Side 285
14 The Winnowing of American Orthodoxy 299
15 The Ramaz Version of American Orthodoxy 313
Notes 351
Index 447
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