The Future of the American Jew

By Mordecai M. Kaplan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR
HOW TO VITALIZE ADULT JEWISH STUDY

1
STUDY TO BE MOTIVATED BY NEED OF JEWISH ORIENTATION

Our main concern in popularizing adult Jewish study should be to make it relevant and vital to present realities. We cannot create a demand for Jewish knowledge, unless we are prepared to help the Jew find some meaning in the events in which he plays a part, and to cope with the problems that beset him as a Jew. Some of us may be so conditioned as to find delight in learning anything that has to do with Jewish life, past or present, near or remote. But we should not forget that most Jews are nowadays without any cultural Jewish background. They can be roused by a harangue on anti-Semitism. But if we expect them to devote some time each week to studies that have to do with normal Jewish living and thinking, they must be convinced that those studies will help them to make the most out of their own lives as human beings; otherwise they are bound to walk out on us, no matter how much machinery of registration, credits and certificates we devise.

We shall be more likely to concern ourselves with the task of vitalizing adult Jewish studies, if we realize that they can no longer be motivated by the needs that motivated them in the past. Our purpose should not be to induce the laity to become -- in Dr. Schechter's phrase -- "studying engines." They who lack a sense of history assume that the indifference on the part of Jews to Jewish learning is due to the numerous distractions in present day life which the contemporary Jew, being so much weaker-willed than his ancestors, is unable to overcome. This assumption is based on a wrong diagnosis of the situation, and is bound to stand in the way of curative treatment.

The truth is that the entire scale of values by which the Jew lived in the past has been so completely upset, as a result of his being integrated into the civic life of non-Jewish nations that it is nothing less than absurd to measure Jewish needs and desires of today by the standards of the past. We must recall that throughout the centuries, when Jews lived a segregated life, they had to depend entirely upon their own cultural resources to avoid the danger of deteriorating into an illiterate horde, or degenerating into wandering bands like the gypsies.

-469-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Future of the American Jew
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 571

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.