American Judaism: A History

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9780300101973: American Judaism: A History

This magisterial work chronicles the 350-year history of the Jewish religion in America. Tracing American Judaism from its origins in the colonial era through the present day, Jonathan Sarna explores the ways in which Judaism adapted in this new context. How did American culture - predominantly Protestant and overwhelmingly capitalist - affect Jewish religion and culture? And how did American Jews shape their own communities and faith in the new world? Jonathan Sarna, a preeminent scholar of American Judaism, tells the story of individuals struggling to remain Jewish while also becoming American. He offers a dynamic and timely history of assimilation and revitalisation, of faith lost and faith regained. The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life.

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From the Back Cover:

"This work should emerge as the single best description of American Judaism during its 350 years on American soil. It will eclipse earlier work even as it sensitizes us to the shape that our religious life will take in the opening decades of the third millennium."--Michael Berenbaum, Director, Sigi Ziering Institute, The University of Judaism; "Jonathan Sarna's history of American Jewry is a wonderful read-and at the same time an informative and subtle analysis of the formation of something radically new in Jewish history: a diaspora community that is, for most of its members, not an exilic community."-Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

About the Author:

Jonathan Sarna is Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, and chairs the Academic Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. Author or editor of more than twenty books on American Jewish history and life, he is also the chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History and of the 350th commemoration of Jewish life in America, 1654-2004.

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Jonathan D. Sarna
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