Synagogues in a Time of Change: Fragmentation and Diversity in Jewish Religious Movements
Zachary I. Heller
Alban Institute, 2009 - Religion - 266 pages
The synagogue remains a central institution in Jewish life as a place of study, worship, and assembly, but each day brings word of a new challenging development within each of the larger movements to which synagogues belong -- Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Jewish religious communities today share a number of challenges, from the increase in secular or unaffiliated Jews to emerging Jewish spiritual communities forming outside the synagogue. There has never been a more compelling need for a wide-ranging discussion of the diverse issues facing American Judaism. Brought together by Zachary I. Heller, associate director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies, and an editorial team which included Rabbis David Gordis, Hayim Herring, and Sanford Seltzer, twenty of the leading Jewish thinkers -- rabbis, scholars, authors, professors, activists, and experts in the study of the American synagogue -- have contributed to this comprehensive collection of essays. Each writer brings unique expertise and perspective in describing the development of contemporary religious movements (denominations) in American Judaism, their interrelationships and tensions, and their prospects for the future. Their combined voices create a timely discussion of the many urgent issues bearing down on American synagogues. Contributors to Synagogues in a Time of Change take on the changing dynamics of synagogue life, its organization into movements, and the organic changes taking place that are causing those movements to lose their coherence and strength, both internally and as an attractive force for seekers of Jewish religious tradition and expression. They address the current fiscal issues that face the movement organizations and the broader questions of their future stability as well as their significance and continued relevance to individual congregations. Ultimately, the book is a catalyst for personal reflection and public discussion on the past, present and future of the American synagogue. The issues faced by Judaism in America are not unique to Jewish religious movements. Many of the issues facing synagogues will be familiar to those of all faiths. Indeed, the book includes an essay by Rodney L. Petersen of the Boston Theological Institute on denominationalism, nondenominationalism, and postdenominationalism in American Christian communities that helps us see these parallels. Religious groups of all kinds will find reflections of common struggles that can provide a vehicle for constructive conversations about their own pressing issues.
10 pages matching Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal in this book
Results 1-3 of 10
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
adult affiliation American Jews American Judaism B'nai Torah behavior century challenges Christian church commitment congregations Conservative Judaism Conservative movement contemporary core create culture day schools denominational labels denominationalism developed diversity ecumenical emerging emerging church European evangelical experience faith framework gogue groups growing halakhah halakhic Havurah Hebrew College identify identity ideological individuals institutions interfaith issues Jewish education Jewish law Jewish Population Jewish religious Jewish Theological Seminary Jewry kashrut leaders leadership learning liberal lives major megachurch ment minyan modern modern Orthodoxy Mordecai Kaplan non-Orthodox nondenominational norms North American observance organizational organizations Orthodox participants pluralism postdenominational postdenominationalism practice prayer professional programs question rabbi Rabbinical School Reconstructionist Reform Judaism Reform movement religion religious movements Renewal ritual role secular seek serve Shabbat significant social spiritual structure syna synagogue term Theological Seminary tion tional traditional transdenominational unaffiliated United worship youth