Beyond Yiddishkeit: The Struggle for Jewish Identity in a Reform Synagogue
"Beyond Yiddishkeit deals in an intelligent and perceptive way with the issue of Jewish identity in an affluent and highly educated suburban community. Particularly significant is that it relies upon participant observation, as well as ethnographic interview techniques and data, on the part of the author. In this way, the work constitutes the first major study of this type conducted within the liberal Jewish American community. As such, it is a "pioneering" work. Equally impressive is the author's command of the sociological literature on issues of identity and her ability to apply it to the data gathered in this study. She makes sociological jargon intelligible and presents an easily-read and well-constructed book. Her ability throughout the work to focus on issues of modernity is insightful and brilliant. I found myself racing through the book and, indeed, read it in one sitting. This really is an unparalleled work in this field." - David Ellenson, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion
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aesthetic ambivalence American Jewish American Jews Bat Mitzvah bima cantor celebration Chaverim service chavurot cheder classical Reform clergy Columbus Platform commitment concerns congregation consciousness contemporary contrast cultural discussion emotional ethic example experience expression fact feel freedom frequently Halacha Haskala Hebrew Hence high holidays human identification identity construction individual institution involved Israel issue Jewish community Jewish identity Jewish tradition kehilla liberalism major maskilim meaning members of Temple membership mitzva moral needs nonetheless normative ritual observance Orthodox participation particular particularistic past personal identity prayer prayerbook rabbis rabbis suggests rationality reflects Reform Jews Reform Judaism Reform movement Reform synagogue religion religious school response ritual symbols role Sabbath sacralization sanctuary secular seen sense sermon serve Shabbat shtetl social activism social justice specific spiritual structure style synagogue's Temple Shalom Temple Shalom's ideology Temple's tensions tion Torah traditional Jewish society traditional ritual transcendence universalism universalistic values Western worship yarmulkes Yiddish Yiddishkeit