American Judaism: A History

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My friend the late Roger Wilkins , before he died, I invited him to speak at my synagogue on the March on Washington, and he [said] that Martin Luther King gave the second best speech at the March on Washington, and the best speech was given by a rabbi who spoke about how it was the obligation of Jews especially to support the civil rights movement.

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Jews have always been associated with that cause, with Passover and the freeing of slaves. But many [antebellum] Jews, even liberal-oriented Jews, had no problem with slavery. So how should you characterize the antebellum situation if we want to be correct? How would I characterize it? Jews had a role in the slave trade. The really interesting histories have done a good job of confronting the truth, though only in the last 50 years.

Write to Lily Rothman at lily. Touro Synagogue National Historic Site pictured in The synagogue, the oldest one standing in the U.

American Judaism

This book is destined to be the new classic of American Jewish history. Finkelstein, Jewish Book World.

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American Judaism is undoubtedly an original. Rich in details and insights, the book makes for lively, interesting reading. Now you can join them too. Pilcher, Jewsweek. A sweeping overview of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of American Jews from to the present. Sarna writes in sprightly prose. Sarna [is] one of the great deans of American Judaism. Sarna writes in sprightly prose [and is] one of the great deans of American Judaism.

This thoughtful and engaging work will attract a wide scholarly and lay audience. Challenging those who predict the demise of American Judaism, Sarna points to the commitment and energy of Jews in every generation to keep the faith alive. Published on the th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America, this definitive history celebrates the multifarious faces of American Judaism. Fetterman, Reform Judaism. A much broader, more subtle, and more inclusive analysis of American Judaism than we have seen to date.

His writing reflects profound scholarship. American Judaism is a readable blend of fact and interpretation, objectivity and optimism.

New edition of ‘American Judaism’ reflects recent history

Paul Pioneer Press. His book [is] rich, insightful, and accessible in its approach. American Judaism is different from other historical accounts in that its central focus is the Jewish religion, while previous volumes have spoken about the Jewish people. The book follows the story to present times.

The most comprehensive single-volume examination of the Jewish religion on American soil yet written. An unparalleled work.

Why the rise of American Judaism offers a ‘great political story’

Besides his erudition, Sarna combines fine narrative skills with an uncanny ability to maintain the focus on Judaism, the religion, as he sets its history in a wider context. He is blessed, too, with a discerning eye for engaging and instructive details. Lively and often amusing. A thorough and enjoyable overview that is likely to be the standard for many years, if not decades, to come. Published so as to coincide with the th anniversary of American Jewry, this engaging tour-de-force narrates the history of Jews in America, commencing with their arrival in New Amsterdam in The work displays not only the historian's craft at its finest but demonstrates and draws upon Jonathan D.

A brilliant, engaging, readable, profound, thoughtful, and provocative history of American Jewish group life. Its reading of American Jewish history provides the context and concepts by which to insightfully comprehend the American Jewish present and, perhaps, to think incisively about its future as well. Cohen, Jewish Quarterly Review.

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Sarna [has] crafted powerful and compelling answers to address contemporary needs and crises. Named a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Also of Interest More from this Author. The Lure of Wisdom. Steven Weitzman. An Anthology of Judeo-Persian Literature. Translated and with an introduction and notes by Vera Basch Forty-nine percent of American Jews characterize themselves as liberal but only 8 percent of Israelis do.

American Judaism | Yale University Press

The first argues that, indeed, there is a growing rift. The most worrisome evidence is a recent poll which asked young Jews whether it would be a great tragedy if the State of Israel were destroyed, and only about half of them said yes. A second view is that nothing has really changed. There have always been opponents of Israel. Meanwhile, more and more Jews have gone on Birthright Israel trips and have a positive view of Israel, whether or not they support its current government.

The third argument is that young Jews are indeed more critical of Israel than older ones, but that is nothing new. The older we get, the smarter Israel gets. I suspect that all three of these explanations are partially true. I have tended to view American Judaism as cyclical, much like so many other religions in America. Someday, I expect, journalists will discover a surprising new interest on the part of young people in synagogues and religious life, and then the cycle will begin again. That, of course, does not mean that the new synagogues will be identical with the old ones.

We see lots of fascinating Jewish religious start-ups today—emergent congregations, partnership services, independent minyanim, and the like.

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Many of these start-ups will not survive, I suspect, but some of them will make it very, very big. They will reshape American Judaism in the decades to come. Search for:. Science Health Culture Environment. Share this Article.