The American Synagogue: A Historical Dictionary and Sourcebook

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - Religion - 409 pages

The institution of the American synagogue has played a significant role in the history of American Judaism, which remains an incomplete history if it is limited to the lives of individuals and events. This work helps complete the history as it is the first reference book to document the historical development of many individual synagogues in the United States and Canada. It includes over 350 entries of synagogues from among the four main movements, each of which have made an impact on the Jewish community, either locally or beyond. It is an essential tool for researchers, scholars, and students, as well as anyone interested in the historical aspects of American Judaism.

An essay on the historical development of the American Synagogue by Frances Weinman Schwartz, introduces the volume. Entries are arranged alphabetically by city within each state. Synagogue descriptions include the date of the congregation's founding, the reason for its founding and its congregational mission, the history of buildings and neighborhood, its local or national historical impact, its significance in the movement to which it belongs, major episodes in the congregation's history, as well as details about the service of its rabbis. A brief bibliography follows each entry, and a general bibliography and index complete the volume.


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Olitzky, a prominent educator associated with the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, has compiled a dictionary describing over 350 synagogues in the United States and ... Read full review

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Page 18 - Resistors and Accommodators: Varieties of Orthodox Rabbis in America, 1886-1983," in The American Rabbinate, ed. Jacob Rader Marcus and Abraham Peck (Hoboken, NJ: Ktav, 1985).
Page 19 - The Changing Functions of the Synagogue and the Rabbi," in Understanding American Judaism Toward the Description of a Modern Religion, ed.

About the author (1996)

KERRY M. OLITZKY is Director of the School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, where he also directs the Graduate Studies program. He is the author of numerous books and journal articles and has written extensively in the field of American Jewish History, particularly on the history of Reform Judaism. With Lance J. Sussman and Malcolm H. Stern, he published Reform Judaism in America: A Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook (Greenwood Press, 1993). Dr. Olitzky is annual special issue editor of aging and judaism for the Journal of Psychology and Judaism and chairs the editorial board of Compass, a magazine for teachers.

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