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The American Synagogue
A Sanctuary Transformed
Jack Wertheimer, ed.

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life

1995 • 455 pp. 13 illus. 4 figs. 14 tables. Map. 6 x 9"
Jewish Studies / Cultural Studies

$40.00 Paperback, 978-0-87451-709-5

"Wertheimer has brought together a group of social historians who have helped demonstrate the centrality of the synagogue to the American Jewish experience, and who have given us a rich beginning for the exploration of synagogue history." —Journal of American History

Leading historians of modern Jewry offer the first comprehensive account of American synagogue history.

When first published in 1987, The American Synagogue quickly established itself as the standard work on the subject. The strength of the book lies in its combination of broad overviews of denominational differentiation that took place and case studies drawing from many geographical regions and emphasizing themes ranging from effects of immigration on synagogue life to changing roles of women. The book has become an important comparative resource for students of American religious life, particularly in its examination of how religious communities change over time.

Reviews / Endorsements

“This volume is minimally about religion, but implicitly it seems to be making the case that religion and particularism are less meaningful to younger Jews as opposed to cultural expression and the Jewish contribution to the world... It remains to be seen, then, whether this volume has documented the emergence of a new communal form for Jews (and thus Judaism) or whether it is merely a phase in Jewish assimilation.”—Sociology of Religion

Author Photo

JACK WERTHEIMER is the Joseph and Martha Mendelson Professor of American Jewish History at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Director of the Joseph and Miriam Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism. He is author or editor of more than a dozen books.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:13 -0500