Events and Movements in Modern Judaism

Events and Movements in Modern Judaism

Events and Movements in Modern Judaism

Events and Movements in Modern Judaism

Synopsis

In the last century a series of revolutions have reshaped the nature of Jewish communities in the United States and in Israel. Judaism, including the religious ideologies, institutions, and orientations of Jews, has been transformed as a part of, and in response to, the revolutionary changes in the social contexts of the Jewish communities. The assaults of an American secular pluralistic society have produced radical changes on the fragile contemporary Jewish identity. These seventeen essays discuss the major events and trends in modern Jewish history as well as religious and secular movements which have responded to those trends and events. From "1881: Watershed Year of Modern Jewish History" through to the "New Roles for Jewish Women", the Jewish community has been challenged in the face of tragedy and historical change. Jewish culture and social philosophy have radically and sometimes tragically been transformed, to the point that, despite its unbreakable historical continuity, the Jewish identity has been abruptly altered. After the cataclysmic events of mid-centurythe Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, the return of Oriental Jewry, and the loosening of the traditional religious bonds - the search for new understandings has been the most significant feature of modern Judaism.

Excerpt

This volume, Events and Movements in Modern Judaism, is the second containing papers presented at two conferences on Influences in the Reconfiguration of Modern Judaism, sponsored by the Council for the World's Religions and held in Stanstad, Switzerland, on September 1-5, 1988, and in Toledo, Spain on November 9-13, 1989, with the participation of Jewish scholars from the United States, England, France, Israel, and Australia. Raphael Patai served as convenor and chairman of the conferences.

The first volume, Thinkers and Teachers of Modern Judaism, edited by Raphael Patai and Emanuel S. Goldsmith, was published by Paragon House in 1994. It contains papers dealing with the following personalities who have contributed to the reshaping of Jewish ideas and values in modern times: Ahad Ha-am, Abraham Isaac Kook, Asher Zelig Margaliot, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Leo Baeck, Joseph Soloveitchik, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Mordecai M. Kaplan, Primo Levi, H. Leivick, and Yehuda Amichai.

The present volume contains seventeen papers focusing on the major events and movements that had a share in the reconfiguration of modern Judaism. Acquaintance with these issues is essential for an understanding of where Judaism stands today in its spiritual coming- to-terms with the Holocaust, its varieties along the Orthodox-Liberal range of religious thought and observance, its methods of religious . . .

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