Jonathan Sarna has given us a masterful gift to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America. Drawing on his own encyclopedic knowledge of Jewish life in America, his American Judaism provides readers not only a well-crafted and eminently readable history but an insightful retrospective allowing us to face the next 350 years with hope.
Sarna describes, with captivating detail, the social, cultural and historic factors which have shaped today’s vibrant Jewish American community. Sarna recognizes that it is impossible to separate the secular history of Jews in America from our religious experience. Looking at our history through the lens of religious change is a unique approach. Sarna uses it effectively to guide us through the dilemmas faced by generations of American Jews. We learn that concerns about anti-Semitism, intermarriage, education, Zionism and religious observance are not unique to our generation. Neither are the resulting responses. The message Sarna clearly delivers is that “today as so often before, American Jews will find creative ways to maintain and revitalize American Judaism.”
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American Judaism: A History
Jonathan D. Sarna’s award-winning American Judaism is now available in an updated and revised edition that summarizes recent scholarship and takes into account important historical, cultural, and political developments in American Judaism over the past fifteen years.
Winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award/Jewish Book of the Year
Published by Yale University Press $26.00
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