American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective

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KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1996 - Jews - 457 pages
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American freedom, opportunity and voluntarism has created challenges to the traditional faith and practice of all religious denominations. Jeffrey S. Gurock's pathbreaking work on the history of Jewish Orthodoxy in America has identified and explored the many ways that one religious group responded to those challenges. His model and influential studies of the American Orthodox rabbinate and synagogue have shown that attitudes favoring religious reconciliation and accommodation to the American environment were not less important than Orthodoxy's staunch resistance to that same environment. His seminal work has challenged scholars to understand that Orthodoxy is composed of a spectrum of approaches and has demonstrated that merely labelling a person or institution as "Orthodox" is only the first step towards understanding a particular stance on the most contentious of issues. American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective brings together fifteen of Professor Gurock's most important essays with a new introduction that places his work in historiographical perspective. Beginning with his now-classic "Resisters and Accommodators" and "The Orthodox Synagogue", which provide the general viewpoint for what follows, this collection proceeds to individual case studies that examine the ways in which Orthodox Jews understood Christian religious threats, the challenges of modern Zionist ideologies, the varieties of Orthodox lay behavior, profiles of influential Orthodox rabbis, the styles of American Orthodox synagogues, and a description of one type of Orthodox day-school education.
 

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Contents

Varieties of Orthodox
1
Within the Lower East Sides Orthodox Elite 18861902
103
American Orthodox Organizations in Support
117
Christian Friend or Missionary Foe
135
Jewish Communal Divisiveness in Response to Christian
153
the Social History of American Orthodoxy 19001918
181
Bernard Drachman and
201
A Generation Unaccounted For in American Judaism
233
Time Place and Movement in Immigrant Jewish
247
A Stage in the Emergence of the Americanized Synagogue
265
Consensus Building and Conflict over Creating the Young
285
The Winnowing of American Orthodoxy
299
The Ramaz Version of American Orthodoxy
313
Notes
351
Index
447
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About the author (1996)

Jeffrey S. Gurock is Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University.A prize-winning author, he has written or edited fifteen books in American Jewish history. Gurock has served as chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society and as associate editor of American Jewish History. He lives with his family in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

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