American Reform Judaism: An Introduction by Dana Evan Kaplan

By Dana Evan Kaplan

The simply entire and up to date examine Reform Judaism, this ebook analyzes the forces at present tough the Reform flow, now the biggest Jewish denomination within the United States.

To distinguish itself from Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, the Reform flow attempts to be an egalitarian, open, and leading edge model of the religion actual to the spirit of the culture yet still totally appropriate with glossy secular existence. selling itself during this approach, Reform Judaism has been significantly profitable in recruiting various people—intermarried households, feminists, gays and lesbians, and interracial households between others—who face up to extra conventional sorts of worship.

As an accidental results of this luck, the circulation now struggles with an identification trouble caused by its liberal theology, which teaches that every Jew is loose to perform Judaism kind of as she or he pleases. within the absence of the authority that comes from a theology according to a commanding, omnipotent God, can Reform Judaism proceed to thrive? Can it's widely inclusive and nonetheless be uniquely and authentically Jewish?

Taking this question as his element of departure, Dana Evan Kaplan presents a extensive review of the yank Reform circulate and its historical past, theology, and politics.  He then takes a troublesome examine the demanding situations the stream faces because it makes an attempt to reinvent itself within the new millennium.  In so doing, Kaplan supplies the reader a feeling of the place Reform Judaism has come from, the place it stands at the significant matters, and the place it can be going.

Addressing the problems that experience faced the movement—including the ordination of ladies, popularity of homosexuality, the matter of assimilation, the query of rabbinic officiation at intermarriages, the fight for attractiveness in Israel, and Jewish schooling and others—Kaplan sheds mild at the connection among Reform ideology and cultural realities. He unflinchingly, but expectantly, assesses the movement’s destiny and cautions that stormy climate might be ahead. 


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