American Judaism by Jonathan D. Sarna
A History

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Synopsis

This magisterial work chronicles the 350-year history of the Jewish religion in America. Tracing American Judaism from its origins in the colonial era through the present day, Jonathan Sarna explores the ways in which Judaism adapted in this new context. How did American culture - predominantly Protestant and overwhelmingly capitalist - affect Jewish religion and culture? And how did American Jews shape their own communities and faith in the new world? Jonathan Sarna, a preeminent scholar of American Judaism, tells the story of individuals struggling to remain Jewish while also becoming American. He offers a dynamic and timely history of assimilation and revitalisation, of faith lost and faith regained. The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life.
 

About Jonathan D. Sarna

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Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History. He has written, edited or co-edited more than twenty-five books, including "American Judaism: A History", winner of the "Jewish Book of the Year" award from the Jewish Book Council.
 
Published March 11, 2004 by Yale University Press. 512 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Judaism

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(Apr.) Forecast: Sarna, one of the great deans of American Judaism and the chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History, will promote this book at many lectures this spring in cities such as New York, Saint Paul, Providence, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.

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They have done so through presentations of American Jewish history, from 1654 to the present, and of course in their demarcations of what to include as American Jewish history.

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"In his lifetime, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver was among the giants in Jewish life," note Mark Raider, Jonathan Sarna and Ronald Zweig in their introduction to Abba Hillel Silver and American Zionism, comparing Silver's stature to that of Louis Brandeis, Theodor Herzl, and David Ben-Gurion, among oth...

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Kaplan has successfully blended more traditional topics—for example, Lloyd Gartner on "American Judaism, 1880–1945" and Nathan Glazer, a pioneer in the field of American Jewish studies, on "The American Jewish Urban Experience"—with such less conventional topics as David Biale on "The Body and Se...

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There are twenty-one in all with titles that include: "Jewish Religious Denominations," "Life-cycle rituals: Rites of passage in American Judaism," "'Sacred survival' revisited: American Jewish civil religion in the new millennium," "Recent trends in new American Jewish music," and "The visual ar...

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While Deborah Lipstadt's concluding essay offers an inclusive look at the religious transformations feminism has wrought for American Jewish women of various denominational approaches in recent decades, the remaining four chapters concentrate on more limited facets of American Jewish women's spir...

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In studies ranging from discussions of Jewish women in the colonial household to investigations into the uses of Jewish racial identity among turn-of-the-century German Jewish women, to the role of twentieth-century rebbetzins and the relationship between Judaism and feminism, the volume's contr...

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In American Judaism, Brandeis University scholar Jonathan Sarna has produced a marvelous survey that masterfully recounts the history of Jewish religious life in America and in the process provides much insight into other aspects of American Jewish history as well.

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Rather than a story of conflict between being American and being Jewish, this is an account of American Judaism, a faith that came into existence on the North American continent, partaking of the strengths both of the biblical tradition and of the democratic experiment.

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