The Way Into the Varieties of Jewishness

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Jewish Lights Publishing, Aug 1, 2008 - History - 262 pages
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An accessible introduction to the many ways Jews understand Jewishness and identify themselves and their communities throughout history and today.

For everyone who wants to understand the varieties of Jewish identity, its boundaries and inclusions, this book explores the religious and historical understanding of what it has meant to be Jewish from ancient times to the present controversy over Who is a Jew? Beginning with the biblical period, it takes readers era by era through Jewish history to reveal who the Jewish community included and excluded, and discusses the fascinating range of historical conflicts that Jews have dealt with internally. It provides an understanding of how the Jewish people and faith developed, and of what the major religious differences are among Jewish movements today.

  

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Contents

Ancient Jews Homeland and Exiles
7
The Wandering Jews
44
Emancipating into Modern Jewishness
76
Reforming American Judaism
105
Shades of American Orthodoxy
127
Conservative Judaism at the Crossroads
153
Jews by Choice
192
Conversion and Jewish Identification
206
Notes
228
Glossary
241
Suggestions for Further Reading
255
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About the author (2008)

Sylvia Barack Fishman, PhD, a well-known author of many articles and books including Double or Nothing? Jewish Families and Mixed Marriage and Jewish Life and American Culture, is professor of contemporary Jewish life at Brandeis University, and codirector of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. She speaks frequently at temples and Jewish communal events as well as at academic conferences.

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