Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism (Paperback)Adam S. Ferziger (author)
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Ferziger shows that significant elements within Haredi Orthodoxy have abandoned certain strict and seemingly uncontested norms. He begins by offering fresh insight into the division between the American sectarian Orthodox and Modern Orthodox streams that developed in the early twentieth century and highlights New York's Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun as a pioneering Modern Orthodox synagogue. Ferziger also considers the nuances of American Orthodoxy as reflected in Soviet Jewish activism during the 1960s and early 1970s and educational trips to Poland taken by American Orthodox young adults studying in Israel, and explores the responses of prominent rabbinical authorities to Orthodox feminism and its call for expanded public religious roles for women. Considerable discussion is dedicated to the emergence of outreach to nonobservant Jews as a central priority for Haredi Orthodoxy and how this focus outside its core population reflects fundamental changes. In this context, Ferziger presents evidence for the growing influence of Chabad Hasidism - what he terms the ""Chabadization of American Orthodoxy.""
Recent studies, including the 2013 Pew Survey of U.S. Jewry, demonstrate that an active and strongly connected American Orthodox Jewish population is poised to grow in the coming decades. Jewish studies scholars and readers interested in history, sociology, and religion will appreciate Ferziger's reappraisal of this important group.
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 608 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
Adam Ferziger's Beyond Sectarianism shows how American Orthodoxy evolved from a seemingly dwindling, splintered, and outmoded historical expression of Judaism into a dynamically expanding and perhaps newly coherent movement. Ferziger brilliantly tells his lively story, consistently providing powerful examples and scholarly details. His richly documented contention-that the gap between Modern and Haredi Orthodoxies is blurred and diminished-is intriguing. Whether or not readers agree with Ferziger's interpretation that liberal Orthodoxy and its institutions are being effectively marginalized, they will learn much from his captivating accounts of passionate arguments, shifting attitudes, and unexpected alliances.--Sylvia Barack Fishman "Joseph and Esther Foster Professor of Contemporary Jewish Life and co-director of the Hadassah Brandeis Institute, Brandeis University, and author of eight books, including Love, Marriage, and Jewish Families: Paradoxes of a Social Revolution "
Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism, brings together nine essays, some more historically oriented than others, that collectively shed light on Jewish life in America today. While the book ostensibly examines Orthodox Judaism, readers will inevitably gain insight into many of the dynamics driving Jewish religious life across denominational divisions, in no small part due to Ferziger's emphasis, reflected in the title, on groups within Orthodoxy moving beyond sectarianism. This post-sectarian movement inevitably puts these groups, and consequently the book's reader, in contact with cultural and religious developments within the Reform and Conservative movements, as well as feminist and open Orthodox movements-in addition, of course, to Ferziger's rich treatment of the nuances of haredi and modern Orthodoxy.-- (10/12/2015)
At a recent conference, a speaker noted as a forgone conclusion that Chabad was the only force shaping the last decade of American Jewry. Prof Adam Ferziger responded strongly and loaded with data that the Yeshivish world has had a great influence in shaping the current American reality. His latest work Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism, examines this claim and in addition offers several other essays where he investigates the changes in American Orthodoxy of the last two decades.-- (08/05/2015)
This book is "a must" for those who wish to understand the sociology of the American Orthodox movement and the
history of how it arrived there.