Synopses & Reviews
Seventeen essays discussing the major events and trends in modern Jewish history, as well as religious and secular movements, which have responded to those trends and events.
In the last century a series of revolutions have reshaped the nature of Jewish communities in the United States and in Israel. Judaism, including the religious ideologies, institutions, and orientations of Jews, has been transformed as a part of, and in response to, the revolutionary changes in the social contexts of the Jewish communities. The assaults of an American secular pluralistic society have produced radical changes on the fragile contemporary Jewish identity. These seventeen essays discuss the major events and trends in modern Jewish history as well as religious and secular movements which have responded to those trends and events. From "1881: Watershed Year of Modern Jewish History" through to the "New Roles for Jewish Women", the Jewish community has been challenged in the face of tragedy and historical change. Jewish culture and social philosophy have radically and sometimes tragically been transformed, to the point that, despite its unbreakable historical continuity, the Jewish identity has been abruptly altered. After the cataclysmic events of mid-centurythe Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, the return of Oriental Jewry, and the loosening of the traditional religious bonds - the search for new understandings has been the most significant feature of modern Judaism.