The Americanization of the Jews [NOOK Book]

Overview

How did Judaism, a religion so often defined by its minority status, attain equal footing in the trinity of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism that now dominates modern American religious life?
THE AMERICANIZATION OF THE JEWS seeks out the effects of this evolution on both Jews in America and an America with Jews. Although English, French, and Dutch Jewries are usually considered the principal forerunners of modern Jewry, Jews have lived as long in North America as they ...

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The Americanization of the Jews

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Overview

How did Judaism, a religion so often defined by its minority status, attain equal footing in the trinity of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism that now dominates modern American religious life?
THE AMERICANIZATION OF THE JEWS seeks out the effects of this evolution on both Jews in America and an America with Jews. Although English, French, and Dutch Jewries are usually considered the principal forerunners of modern Jewry, Jews have lived as long in North America as they have in post- medieval Britain and France and only sixty years less than in Amsterdam.
As one of the four especially creative Jewish communities that has helped re-shape and re-formulate modern Judaism, American Judaism is the most complex and least understood. German Jewry is recognized for its contribution to modern Jewish theology and philosophy, Russian and Polish Jewry is known for its secular influence in literature, and Israel clearly offers Judaism a new stance as a homeland. But how does one capture the interplay between America and Judaism?
Immigration to America meant that much of Judaism was discarded, and much was retained. Acculturation did not always lead to assimilation: Jewishness was honed as an independent variable in the motivations of many of its American adherents- -and has remained so, even though Jewish institutions, ideologies, and even Jewish values have been reshaped by America to such an degree that many Jews of the past might not recognize as Jewish some of what constitutes American Jewishness.
This collection of essays explores the paradoxes that abound in the America/Judaism relationship, focusing on such specific issues as Jews and American politics in the twentieth century, the adaptation of Jewish religious life to the American environment, the contributions and impact of the women's movement, and commentaries on the Jewish future in America.

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Editorial Reviews

Bethamie Horowitz
By the end of this very readable book the reader is left with a plausible "model" about American Jews, one which sees America as being at odds with continued Jewishness. -- Jewish Book World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814739570
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 468
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

ROBERT M. SELTZER is Professor of History at Hunter College, Chair of the Hunter Jewish Social Studies Program, and the author of Jewish People, Jewish Thought.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Contributors
1 Introduction: The Ironies of American Jewish History 1
2 The View from the Old World: German-Jewish Perspectives 19
3 The View from the Old World: East European Jewish Perspectives 41
4 Jewish Writers on the New Diaspora 60
5 Movies in America as Paradigms of Accommodation 79
6 From Equality to Liberty: The Changing Political Culture of American Jews 97
7 Will Herberg's Path from Marxism to Judaism: A Case Study in the Transformation of Jewish Belief 119
8 The Anomalous Liberalism of American Jews 133
9 Liberalism, Judaism, and American Jews: A Response 144
10 Zionism and American Politics 151
11 Spiritual Zionists and Jewish Sovereignty 165
12 Zion in the Mind of the American Rabbinate during the 1940s 193
13 The Evolution of the American Synagogue 215
14 Consensus Building and Conflict over Creating the Young People's Synagogue of the Lower East Side 230
15 Jewish in Dishes: Kashrut in the New World 247
16 Feminism and American Reform Judaism 267
17 Ezrat Nashim and the Emergence of a New Jewish Feminism 284
18 Conservative Judaism: The Ethical Challenge of Feminist Change 296
19 The Ninth Siyum Ha-Shas: A Case Study in Orthodox Contra-Acculturation 311
20 Americanism and Judaism in the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan 339
21 The American Mission of Abraham Joshua Heschel 355
22 Modern Times and Jewish Assimilation 377
23 Jewish Continuity over Judaic Content: The Moderately Affiliated American Jew 395
24 From an External to an Internal Agenda 417
25 Jewish Survival, Antisemitism, and Negotiation with the Tradition 436
26 American Jewry in the Twenty-First Century: Strategies of Faith 451
Index 459
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