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Comment: Ex-library book. Has usual library labels and stamps. Good readable copy with minor wear to cover.Small inscription on inner cover flyleaf/title page other than that pages clean and unmarked. MInor staining. Small sticker on cover. Eligible for Free 2-day Prime or free Super saver shipping. All orders ship fast from the Amazon warehouse with tracking number. Amazon's hassle free return policy means your satisfaction is guaranteed!
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American Reform Judaism: An Introduction Paperback – April 9, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A rabbi and a scholar, Kaplan combines his impressive background with diligent research and strong opinions to produce this lively account of Reform Judaism. Starting with history, he traces the roots of this denomination in Germany, but his emphasis is clearly on its development and current status in America. Kaplan examines the theology of Reform Judaism, stressing the do-it-yourself attitude that originally rejected Jewish tradition in favor of serving the needs of contemporary Jews. This approach, known as Classical Reform, has recently given way to increasingly successful efforts to restore traditional beliefs and practices. However, conflicts have arisen, not only with advocates of Classical Reform, but also with the liberal positions held by some leaders of the Reform movement. The latter have embraced ordination of women, acceptance of gays and lesbians and a degree of proselytizing, especially among the non-Jewish spouses in inter-marriages. According to Kaplan, these departures from Reform tradition contradict the simultaneous return to tradition, arguing that "Reform is moving in two directions at the same time." He concludes that "the Reform movement... is going to have to develop a coherent, effective strategy for reconciling autonomy and authority." While Kaplan's presentation focuses on Reform Judaism, his astute reasoning has value for all religious groups that struggle with maintaining their established beliefs in the face of the demands and challenges posed by modernity.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Kaplan's three stated goals are to provide a general introduction to the American Reform movement, describe the social and religious forces that impact Reform Judaism, and argue that Reform Judaism's liberal theology makes it difficult to create the type of committed religious community that can perpetuate that commitment from generation to generation. Beginning with an overview of the Reform movement from its origins in nineteenth-century Europe to today, then outlining its basic beliefs and practices, Kaplan traces the evolution of Reform theology and describes the Reform revolution of the 1990s, the changes in synagogue services, and the struggle for recognition in the State of Israel. Kaplan also chronicles the challenges in Reform Jewish education, the efforts to deal with the problem of intermarriage, the struggle for women's equality, the acceptance of gays and lesbians, and the battle over the movement's future. An expansive examination of the religion. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (April 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813532191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813532196
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dana Evan Kaplan was born in Manhattan and grew up in New York and Connecticut. He holds a PhD in Jewish history from Tel Aviv University and Rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. Dana has lived and worked in Australia, South Africa, Israel, and the United States. He loves to travel to exotic locales where he scuba dives and hikes.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
described in the editorial reviews, which means it is a pretty good read for someone who is not very knowledgeable but is probably less useful for readers more familiar with Reform.
One thing that I liked: Kaplan's willingness to note that some of the Reform movement's current problems are identical to those that Reform rabbis were complaining about as early as the 1880s; evidently, there is something about liberal religion that leads to a large but apathetic membership.
One thing that I wish Kaplan had put in: more primary source material - perhaps in the form of an appendix with the text of the Reform platforms, etc. that Kaplan writes about.
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Format: Paperback
Dana Kaplan has written a phenomenal and unique book that opens up the world of American Reform Judaism. This book is the only one of its kind, and is great resource for Reform Jews and those who might be converting to and interested in learning about Judaism. We are all in debt to Professor Kaplan.
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Format: Paperback
Informative and educational. the book covers the subject of Reform Judaism in America in richness of detail. a very relevant reading for anyone interested in learning about the accomplishments of the Jewish Civilization implanted in its most fertile soil ever.
Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn
Kansas City, MO
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Format: Paperback
Rabbi Kaplan has written a very interesting, thoughtful sociological overview of post-World War II American Judaism.

He has interwoven an analysis of well-known historical figures with Jews of the specific time periods, creating a very realistic and thought-provoking account of American Judaism.

I would highly reccommend this book!
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