A growing number of Jews identify themselves as secular or "somewhat secular." Is this expansive definition of Jewishness a new phenomenon? What are its roots? What are its implications for the Jewish community, its institutions, and its future? In reflecting on secular forms of Jewishness, the contributors to this book explore the sources of Jewish secularism and its articulation in Jewish thought, belief, literature, and culture. Included in this book are several personal accounts of Jewish journeys, as well as analyses of the extent of the division between secular Jews and others in the Jewish community. In sum, Jewish Secularity: The Search for Roots and the Challenges of Relevant Meaning provides an overview of a profound development in the evolving history of Jewish life in America.
David M. Gordis is president of Hebrew College and professor emeritus of Rabbinics. He is the founding director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies and the initiator of the Interreligious Center on Public Life. An ordained rabbi, he is widely regarded for his classic Jewish scholarship, his communal leadership, and his extensive writings on Jewish life in America and Israel. Prior to assuming the presidency of Hebrew College in 1993, he served as vice president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles (now renamed the American Jewish University) and as executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee. Zachary I. Heller served as associate director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies (successor to the Wilstein Institute) from 1996 until his death in 2010. He combined a career in the rabbinate with national and international Jewish communal leadership. He is the author of numerous articles in the fields of Jewish policy and bioethics and the editor of several volumes of Jewish policy studies.
Preface Zachary I. Heller Introduction David M. Gordis Secular Forms of Judaism Paul Mendes-Flohr Demography and Dimensions of Secularity among American Jews Barry A. Kosmin Secularism in the Contemporary Jewish Community David M. Gordis Let Us Speak of Stories Leonard Fein A Personal History of Jewish Reading Ilan Stavans God's Language and the Making of Secular Jewish Culture David Biale Sources of Secularism Mitchell Silver Secular Jewish Musical Expression-Is Nothing Sacred? Hankus Netsky The Secularization of Jewish Cultural Memory: Epistemological and Hermeneutical Reflections Paul Mendes Flohr Secular Jewishness in Israel and the Diaspora Yonatan Glaser Accepting Secular Jewishness and Embracing All Jews Eva Goldfinger Contributors
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- ID: 9780761857945
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