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The main religious divide within Judaism is between the orthodox and non-orthodox. Some of the largest denominations within Orthodox Judaism are Modern Orthodox and multiple denominations of Hasidism, while among non-orthodox Jews, the denominations include the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Neo-Hasidic movements. In their own distinct categories are Secular Humanist and Messianic Jews, groups which identify either as culturally or religiously Jewish, but do not adhere to core tenets of the religion.
Table of Contents - Jewish Identities
Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism by
Call Number: BM197.6 .F47 2015
Publication Date: 2015-07-30
"In 1965 social scientist Charles S. Liebman published a study that boldly declared the vitality of American Jewish Orthodoxy and went on to guide scholarly investigations of the group for the next four decades. As American Orthodoxy continues to grow in geographical, institutional, and political strength, author Adam S. Ferziger argues in Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism that one of Liebman's principal definitions needs to be updated. While Liebman proposed that the "committed Orthodox" -observant rather than nominally affiliated-could be divided into two main streams: "church," or Modern Orthodoxy, and "sectarian," or Haredi Orthodoxy, Ferziger traces a narrowing of the gap between them and ultimately a realignment of American Orthodox Judaism." - from the publisher
In the Reference Collection
Encyclopedia Judaica by
Call Number: Reference DS102.8 .E496 2007 v.3
Publication Date: 2006-12-12
Editor's Note: See the following articles - "Orthodoxy," Volume 15, pp. 493-500; Modern Orthodoxy, ibid; "Hasidism," Volume 8, pp. 393-434
Modern Orthodox Judaism: a Documentary History by
Call Number: BM197.6 .E44 2016
Publication Date: 2016-07-01
"First history of the Modern Orthodox movement 'Modern Orthodox Judaism' offers an extensive selection of primary texts documenting the Orthodox encounter with American Judaism that led to the emergence of the Modern Orthodox movement. Many texts in this volume are drawn from episodes of conflict that helped form 'Modern Orthodox Judaism'. These include the traditionalists' response to the early expressions of Reform Judaism, as well as incidents that helped define the widening differences between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism in the early twentieth century. Other texts explore the internal struggles to maintain order and balance once Orthodox Judaism had separated itself from other religious movements. Zev Eleff combines published documents with seldom-seen archival sources in tracing Modern Orthodoxy as it developed into a structured movement, established its own institutions, and encountered critical events and issues-some that helped shape the movement and others that caused tension within it. A general introduction explains the rise of the movement and puts the texts in historical context. Brief introductions to each section guide readers through the documents of this new, dynamic Jewish expression." - from the publisher
Modern Orthodoxy in American Judaism: The Era of Rabbi Leo Jung by
Call Number: BM755.J84 J33 2016
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
"This work presents the issues of Modern Orthodox Judaism in America, from the decades of the twenties to the sixties, by looking at the activities of one of its leaders, Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung, pulpit rabbi, community leader and writer, whose career spanned over sixty years, beginning in the 1920s.
Modern Orthodoxy went from being a threatened entity on the American scene to a well-recognized and respected force in Judaism. Orthodoxy, at first, was seen as alien to the American environment. This is the story of the renaissance of American Modern Orthodoxy, from the disorganization of the older Orthodoxy to the new spirit of confidence that emerged after World War Two. The phenomenon of Modern Orthodoxy is examined in the context of Orthodox invigoration and change. This book has relevance for further studies in various areas. It is part of the study of religious acculturation, of the conflict between tradition and modernity and of religious reinvigoration in a secular society." - from the publisher
Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer and the Creation of a Modern Jewish Orthodoxy by
Call Number: BM755.H445 E55 1990
Publication Date: 1990-11-30
"The story of modern Orthodox Judaism is usually told only from the perspective of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Ellenson’s work, a thorough examination of the life and work of one of Hirsch’s contemporaries, Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer, reveals another important contributor to the creation of a modern Jewish Orthodoxy during the late 1800s. like Hirsch, Hildesheirmer felt the need to continue certain traditions while at the same time introducing certain innovations to meet the demands of a modern society. This original study of an Orthodox rabbinic leader shows how Hildesheirmer’s flexible and pragmatic approach to these problems continues to be relevant to modern Judaism. The way in which this book draws upon response literature for its comprehension of Hildesheimer makes it a distinctive work in modern Jewish historiography and sociology."
Hasidism: A New History by
Call Number: BM198.3 .B53 2018
Publication Date: 2017-12-11
"This is the first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism. The book's unique blend of intellectual, religious, and social history offers perspectives on the movement's leaders as well as its followers, and demonstrates that, far from being a throwback to the Middle Ages, Hasidism is a product of modernity that forged its identity as a radical alternative to the secular world. Hasidism originated in southeastern Poland, in mystical circles centered on the figure of Israel Baal Shem Tov, but it was only after his death in 1760 that a movement began to spread. Challenging the notion that Hasidism ceased to be a creative movement after the eighteenth century, this book argues that its first golden age was in the nineteenth century, when it conquered new territory, won a mass following, and became a mainstay of Jewish Orthodoxy. World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Holocaust decimated eastern European Hasidism. But following World War II, the movement enjoyed a second golden age, growing exponentially. Today, it is witnessing a remarkable renaissance in Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world. Written by an international team of scholars, Hasidism is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand this vibrant and influential modern Jewish movement." - from the publisher
Hasidism: key questions by
Call Number: BM198 .W63 2018
Publication Date: 2018-07-02
"Hasidism is one of the most important religious and social movements to have developed in Eastern Europe, and the most significant phenomenon in the religious, social and cultural life of the Jewish population in Eastern Europe from the eighteenth century up to the present day. Innovative and multidisciplinary in its approach, Hasidism: Key Questions discusses the most cardinal features of any social or religious movement: definition, gender, leadership, demographic size, geography, economy, and decline. This is the first attempt to respond those central questions in one book. Recognizing the major limitations of the existing research on Hasidism, Marcin Wodzinski's Hasidism offers four important corrections. First, it offers anti-elitist corrective attempting to investigate Hasidism beyond its leaders into the masses of the rank-and-file followers. Second, it introduces new types of sources, rarely or never used in research on Hasidism, including archival documents, Jewish memorial books, petitionary notes, quantitative and visual materials. Third, it covers the whole classic period of Hasidism from its institutional maturation at the end of the eighteenth century to its major crisis and decline in wake of the First World War. Finally, instead of focusing on intellectual history, the book offers a multi-disciplinary approach with the modern methodologies of the corresponding disciplines: sociology and anthropology of religion, demography, historical geography and more. By combining some oldest, central questions with radically new sources, perspectives, and methodologies, Hasidism: Key Questions will provide a radically new look at many central issues in historiography of Hasidism, one of the most important religious movements of modern Eastern Europe." - from the publisher
Who Will Lead Us? The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America by
Call Number: BM198.2 .H43 2017
Publication Date: 2017-06-06
"Hasidism, a movement many believed had passed its golden age, has had an extraordinary revival since its near decimation in the Holocaust and Soviet communism. These Hasidim, now settled primarily in North America and Israel have reversed the losses they suffered and rebuilt their communities. The once unimaginable is today routine. Hasidism is alive and growing. How? "Who Will Lead Us?" is the story of five contemporary Hasidic dynasties and how they have handled the delicate issue of leadership and succession. It explores two groups with too few successors, two with too many successors, and one that claims there is no need for a successor, as they claim their leader never died." - from the publisher
Historical Atlas of Hasidism by
Call Number: BM198.3 .W63 2018
Publication Date: 2018-07-24
"Historical Atlas of Hasidism is the very first cartographic reference book on one of the modern era's most vibrant and important mystical movements. Featuring sixty-one large-format maps and a wealth of illustrations, charts, and tables, this one-of-a-kind atlas charts Hasidism's emergence and expansion; its dynasties, courts, and prayer houses; its spread to the New World; the crisis of the two world wars and the Holocaust; and Hasidism's remarkable postwar rebirth. Historical Atlas of Hasidism demonstrates how geography has influenced not only the social organization of Hasidism but also its spiritual life, types of religious leadership, and cultural articulation. It focuses not only on Hasidic leaders but also on their thousands of followers living far from Hasidic centers. It examines Hasidism in its historical entirety, from its beginnings in the eighteenth century until today, and draws on extensive GIS-processed databases of historical and contemporary records to present the most complete picture yet of this thriving and diverse religious movement. Historical Atlas of Hasidism is visually stunning and easy to use, a magnificent resource for anyone seeking to understand Hasidism's spatial and spiritual dimensions, or indeed anybody interested in geographies of religious movements past and present." - from the publisher
A Fortress in Brooklyn : race, real estate, and the making of Hasidic Williamsburg by
Call Number: BM225.B76 D48 2021
Publication Date: 2021-05-11
"Hasidic Williamsburg is famous as one of the most separatist, intensely religious, and politically savvy communities in the entire United States. Less known is how the community survived in one of New York City's toughest neighborhoods during an era of steep decline, only to later oppose and also participate in the unprecedented gentrification of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper unravel the fascinating history of how a community of determined Holocaust survivors encountered, shaped, and sometimes fiercely resisted the urban processes that transformed their gritty neighborhood, from white flight and the construction of public housing to rising crime, divestment of city services, and, ultimately, extreme gentrification. By showing how Williamsburg's Hasidim avoided assimilation, Deutsch and Casper present both a provocative counter-history of American Jewry and a novel look at how race, real estate, and religion intersected in the creation of a quintessential, and yet deeply misunderstood, New York neighborhood."
The Rebbe's Army : inside the world of Chabad-Lubavitch by
Call Number: BM198.54 .F57 2003
Publication Date: 2003-04-15
"Journalist Fishkoff spent a year interviewing Lubavitch emissaries from Anchorage to Miami to give us the first behind-the-scenes look at this Brooklyn-based group of Hasidim and the extraordinary lengths to which they take their mission of outreach. They seem to be everywhere--in big cities, small towns, and suburbs in sixty-one countries. They have built a billion-dollar international empire, with their own news service, publishing house, and hundreds of Websites. Who are these people? How successful are they in making Jews more observant? What influence does their late Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (who some thought was the Messiah), continue to have on his followers?"
Defenders of the Faith : inside Ultra-Orthodox Jewry by
Call Number: BM392.J4 H43 2000
Publication Date: 2000-01-11
"In this first in-depth portrait of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel today, Samuel Heilman introduces a community that to many may seem to be the very embodiment of the Jewish past. To outsiders who stumble upon these neighborhoods and find bearded men in caftans, children with earlocks, and women in long dresses, black kerchiefs and stockings, it may appear that these people still hold fast to every tradition while turning their backs to the contemporary world. But rather than being a relic from the past, ultra-Orthodox Jews, or haredim, are very much part of the contemporary landscape and are playing an increasingly prominent role in the Jewish world and in Israeli politics. Defenders of the Faith takes us inside the world of this contemporary fundamentalist community, its lifestyle and mores, including education, religious practices and beliefs, sexual ethics, and marriage. Heilman explores the reasons why this group is more militant and extreme than its pre-Holocaust brethren, and provides insight into the worldview of this small but influential sector of modern Jewry."
"Ultra-Orthodox" is considered an offensive term by many Orthodox Jews. "My religious group is routinely referred to by a pejorative," writes Rabbi Avi Shafran in an op-ed titled "Don't Call Us 'Ultra-Orthodox.'"
Shafran says "[Hasidic Jews'] differentness reflects only our fealty to the Judaism of the ages. That makes us Orthodox, not 'ultra' anything."
In the Reference Collection
Encyclopedia Judaica by
Call Number: Reference DS102.8 .E496 2007
Publication Date: 2006-12-12
Editor's Note: See the following articles - "Reform Judaism," Volume 17, pp. 165-183; "Conservative Judaism," Volume 5, pp. 171-177.
The Reform Movement
American Reform Judaism: An Introduction by
Call Number: BM197 .K37 2003
Publication Date: 2003-04-29
"The only comprehensive and up-to-date look at Reform Judaism, this book analyzes the forces currently challenging the Reform movement, now the largest Jewish denomination in the United States.
To distinguish itself from Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, the Reform movement tries to be an egalitarian, open, and innovative version of the faith true to the spirit of the tradition but nonetheless fully compatible with modern secular life. Promoting itself in this way, Reform Judaism has been tremendously successful in recruiting a variety of people—intermarried families, feminists, gays and lesbians, and interracial families among others—who resist more traditional forms of worship." - from the publisher
Jewish Living: a Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice (Revised Edition) by
Call Number: BM197 .W37 2010
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
"This definitive guide is a complete source on Reform Jewish practice. This accessible compendium covers the full range of Jewish living, including worship, holidays, life-cycle events, tikkun olam, and everyday Jewish living. The author understands Reform Judaism as a modern development of two millennia of Jewish thinking, and in so doing he draws upon traditional Jewish texts and sources, as well as on the Reform literature that has emerged as a response to that tradition, to create a modern classic." - from the publisher
The Conservative Movement
The Birth of Conservative Judaism: Solomon Schechter's Disciples and the Creation of an American Religious Movement by
Call Number: BM197.5 .C64 2012
Publication Date: 2012-05-22
"Solomon Schechter (1847–1915), the charismatic leader of New York's Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), came to America in 1902 intent on revitalizing traditional Judaism. While he advocated a return to traditional practices, Schechter articulated no clear position on divisive issues, instead preferring to focus on similarities that could unite American Jewry under a broad message. Michael R. Cohen demonstrates how Schechter, unable to implement his vision on his own, turned to his disciples, rabbinical students and alumni of JTS, to shape his movement. By midcentury, Conservative Judaism had become the largest American Jewish grouping in the United States, guided by Schechter's disciples and their continuing efforts to embrace diversity while eschewing divisive debates." - from the publisher
Editor's Note: Two groups of people who present problems of categorization are the groups variously called secular Jews -- alternately non-religious, non-practicing, or non-believing Jews -- who hold Judaism to be more a matter of culture or ethnicity than of religious belief, and therefore identify as Jews on those bases; and Messianic Jews, who promote beliefs (such as the existence and divinity of Jesus of Nazareth) traditionally associated with Christianity, and whose claimed status as being a part of Judaism is rejected by virtually all mainstream Jewish denominations.
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