Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism

Denny J. Meyer, Author, Michael A. Meyer, Author Oxford University Press, USA $49.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-19-505167-4
In attempting to make Jewish observance more comprehensible and meaningful to modern adherents, the Reform branch of Judaism needed to devise a system of ritual and thought flexible enough to survive a fragmented, secularized world. Meyer, professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, traces the origins of the Reform movement to changes in temple services in Hamburg and Berlin in the early 1800s. In Europe, Reform had to contend not only with conservative Christians, who sided with Jewish traditionalists, but also with governmental intrusion into Jewish religious affairs. But, in the United States, the Reform movement found fertile soil, spreading rapidly after a dozen men in 1825 launched the Reformed Society of Israelites in Charleston, S.C. This dry, scholarly history follows the rabbinical rivalries, ideological polemics and innovations that have marked Reform Judaism. First serial to Reform Judaism. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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