AMERICAN REFORM JUDAISM AN INTRODUCTION

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American Reform Judaism

Author : Dana Evan Kaplan
ISBN : 9780813542485
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 60.75 MB
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The only comprehensive and up-to-date look at Reform Judaism, this book analyzes the forces currently challenging the Reform movement, now the largest Jewish denomination in the United States. To distinguish itself from Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, the Reform movement tries to be an egalitarian, open, and innovative version of the faith true to the spirit of the tradition but nonetheless fully compatible with modern secular life. Promoting itself in this way, Reform Judaism has been tremendously successful in recruiting a variety of people—intermarried families, feminists, gays and lesbians, and interracial families among others—who resist more traditional forms of worship. As an unintended result of this success, the movement now struggles with an identity crisis brought on by its liberal theology, which teaches that each Jew is free to practice Judaism more or less as he or she pleases. In the absence of the authority that comes from a theology based on a commanding, all-powerful God, can Reform Judaism continue to thrive? Can it be broadly inclusive and still be uniquely and authentically Jewish? Taking this question as his point of departure, Dana Evan Kaplan provides a broad overview of the American Reform movement and its history, theology, and politics. He then takes a hard look at the challenges the movement faces as it attempts to reinvent itself in the new millennium. In so doing, Kaplan gives the reader a sense of where Reform Judaism has come from, where it stands on the major issues, and where it may be going. Addressing the issues that have confronted the movement—including the ordination of women, acceptance of homosexuality, the problem of assimilation, the question of rabbinic officiation at intermarriages, the struggle for acceptance in Israel, and Jewish education and others—Kaplan sheds light on the connection between Reform ideology and cultural realities. He unflinchingly, yet optimistically, assesses the movement’s future and cautions that stormy weather may be ahead.
Category: Social Science

The New Reform Judaism

Author : Dana Evan Kaplan
ISBN : 9780827611337
Genre : Religion
File Size : 31.93 MB
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This is the book that American Jews and particularly American Reform Jews have been waiting for: a clear and informed call for further reform in the Reform movement. In light of profound demographic, social, and technological developments, it has become increasingly clear that the Reform movement will need to make major changes to meet the needs of a quickly evolving American Jewish population. Younger Americans in particular differ from previous generations in how they relate to organized religion, often preferring to network through virtual groups or gather in informal settings of their own choosing. Dana Evan Kaplan, an American Reform Jew and pulpit rabbi, argues that rather than focusing on the importance of loyalty to community, Reform Judaism must determine how to engage the individual in a search for existential meaning. It should move us toward a critical, scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, that we may emerge with the perspectives required by a postmodern world. Such a Reform Judaism can at once help us understand how the ancient world molded our most cherished religious traditions and guide us in addressing the increasingly complex social problems of our day.
Category: Religion

Reform Judaism And Modernity

Author : Jonathan A. Romain
ISBN : 0334029481
Genre : Religion
File Size : 22.99 MB
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The book examines 26 key questions facing not only Jews today but anyone concerned with religious issues and moral dilemmas, from the Afterlife to Business Ethics, from Social Action to Suffering. The themes are traced in chronological development through the writings of prominent rabbis as they wrestle with major questions of faith and modernity. Each passage is preceded by an explanatory note and followed by a comment, allowing the reader to interact with the texts. Reform Judaism and Modernity: SCM Reader reflects a spiritual journey from the past into the present, which will resonate with all interested in religious debate.
Category: Religion

Response To Modernity

Author : Michael A. Meyer
ISBN : 0814325556
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42.15 MB
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The movement for religious reform in modern Judaism represents one of the most significant phenomena in Jewish history during the last two hundred years. It introduced new theological conceptions and innovations in liturgy and religious practice that affected millions of Jews, first in central and Western Europe and later in the United States. Today Reform Judaism is one of the three major branches of Jewish faith. Bringing to life the ideas, issues, and personalities that have helped to shape modern Jewry, Response to Modernity offers a comprehensive and balanced history of the Reform Movement, tracing its changing configuration and self-understanding from the beginnings of modernization in late 18th century Jewish thought and practice through Reform's American renewal in the 1970s.
Category: Religion

The Growth Of Reform Judaism

Author : W. Gunther Plaut
ISBN : 9780827612174
Genre : Religion
File Size : 71.84 MB
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"With select documents, 1975-2008"--Title page.
Category: Religion

Contemporary American Judaism

Author : Dana Evan Kaplan
ISBN : 9780231137294
Genre : Religion
File Size : 50.15 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.
Category: Religion

An Introduction To Judaism

Author : Jacob Neusner
ISBN : 0664253482
Genre : Religion
File Size : 48.55 MB
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An ancient religion practiced through most of recorded history and having profound influence on both Christianity and Islam, Judaism is also a modern religion that still transforms the lives of many people. Neusner surveys how Judaism took shape as people responded to political and religious crises and describes how Judaism is practiced in American today.
Category: Religion

Reform Judaism For The Rest Of Us

Author : Alexander Maller
ISBN : 147593582X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 83.71 MB
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Reform Judaism has been tested by the spiritual torments and ideological upheavals of the last two centuries. Now, Reform Judaism for the Rest of Us brings into discussion key tenets and opinions that shape current thinking within the faith and introduces ideas for its future development. Author Alexander Maller believes that the core message of Reform Judaism, a modern faith inspired by the Jewish heritage and the Jewish and American Enlightenment, is entering a new phase in its history. Free from the defunct extremist ideologies of the last centuries, American Reform Judaism can expand its reach into the new millennium if it strengthens its grassroots appeal to be of, by, and for the Reform congregants. It must also have a strong Jewish divine faith orientation, be open-minded to the realities of modern living, bear a deep love of Zion, and uphold a strong defense of the Constitution. The arguments brought forth in this study stem from the authors position as a lay congregant. They also arise from the fact that he is a participant in and an observer of the continuous dialogue between rank-and-file congregants and clergy, as well as among congregations and various denominations of faith. Reform Judaism for the Rest of Us encourages congregants to adopt a sustainable, modern, deity-based orientation inspired by Jewish heritage and the American spirit.
Category: Religion