Judaism in America / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$77.27
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 97%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $19.10   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   

Overview

"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 nontraditional, 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, 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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Raphael, the chair of the religion department at the College of William and Mary, explores the history, theology and practices of American Jews in this accessible and absorbing survey. After a brief introductory chapter outlining Jewish diversity, Raphael discusses festivals and life-cycle events, which are the building blocks of Judaism in practice. Other chapters consider the history of Judaism in America, the changing role of the synagogue and the rise of the many para-synagogue organizations and institutions that help define Jewish life. Raphael's study is greatly enriched by his primary ethnographic research; he attended more than 100 services in the four major branches of Judaism, and also interviewed people formally and informally about their beliefs and practices. While he acknowledges the usual grim statistics (declining numbers, increasing intermarriage and a low birth rate), he doesn't dwell on them, insisting instead that "what strikes the contemporary observer of the synagogue is its vitality." One particularly fascinating chapter explores the increase of interest in spirituality and Jewish renewal, the emergence of homosexual congregations, the "surge" in Jewish day schools and the gradual decline of identification with Israel compared to 50 years ago. Another chapter examines the return to traditional observance that has marked all sectors of Judaism in recent years. Newcomers will find this an engaging introduction to American Judaism, and even experts may learn something new. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A fine contribution to the "Columbia Contemporary American Religion" series, Raphael's book is an apt portrait of contemporary Judaism in America. A rabbi and professor of Judaic studies (Coll. of William & Mary), Raphael provides capsule coverage of Judaism's beliefs, doctrines, history, institutions, and religious leaders and the diversity of thought in the four-part Jewish community (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reconstructionist). Raphael finds that there are about six million Jews in America but that only about three million consider themselves to be religious. His research on their beliefs includes interviews and visits to about 100 synagogues. Each section is short and to the point, never bogging down in tedious details. Some of the most significant chapters deal with the religious practices, life-cycle events, beliefs, and devotional life of synagogues in America. This is a solid contribution to the Columbia series, which already includes volumes on Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, and Protestantism. Recommended for public and academic libraries, especially where the series is being collected.-James A. Overbeck, Atlanta-Fulton P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The Journal of Jewish Studies
A valuable contribution to the teaching of modern Judaism and of religion in America.

— George R. Wilkes

H-Amstdy
An excellent overview of the transformation of Judaism in the United States.

— Shira Kohn Levy

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter Newsletter

This is an excellent addition to all collections because it provides a focused overview of American Jewish life today.

The Times Literary Supplement - Daniel Crewe

Raphael gives detailed accounts of Judaism being affected by particularities of society in America.... As the title of this excellent study suggests, the book concerns the religion rather than the people.

The Journal of Jewish Studies - George R. Wilkes

A valuable contribution to the teaching of modern Judaism and of religion in America.

H-Amstdy - Shira Kohn Levy

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

Choice

Raphael makes an enlightening contribution to the history, development, and future of Judaism... A most pleasurable read. Recommended.

Choice

Raphael makes an enlightening contribution to the history, development, and future of Judaism... A most pleasurable read. Recommended.

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

This is an excellent addition to all collections because it provides a focused overview of American Jewish life today.

Jewish Book World

Raphael's study is not merely a collected analysis of texts, as is clear from his research throughout Jewish communities, but rather an attempt to capture the true nature of the American Jewish community's history: past, present and future.

The Times Literary Supplement
Raphael gives detailed accounts of Judaism being affected by particularities of society in America.... As the title of this excellent study suggests, the book concerns the religion rather than the people.

— Daniel Crewe

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

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.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 What is American Judaism? 1
Ch. 2 Beliefs, Festivals, and Life-cycle Events 13
Ch. 3 A History of Judaism in America 39
Ch. 4 Institutions, Organizations, and American Jewish Religious Activity 75
Ch. 5 The Synagogue 97
Ch. 6 The Future of American Judaism 115
Ch. 7 Select Profiles of Judaic Thinkers in America 135
Ch. 8 The Retrieval of Tradition 153
Notes 171
Glossary 199
Selected Further Reading 207
Electronic Resources 217
Index 219
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)