The Growth of Reform Judaism

The Growth of Reform Judaism

American and European Sources

W. Gunther Plaut
Foreword by Jacob K. Shankman
New introduction by Howard A. Berman
New epilogue by David Ellenson
With select documents, 1975-2008

JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought Series

416 pages

Paperback

October 2015

978-0-8276-1217-4

$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (MobiPocket)

October 2015

978-0-8276-1282-2

$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

October 2015

978-0-8276-1281-5

$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

This fiftieth anniversary edition of W. Gunther Plaut’s classic second volume on the history of the Jewish Reform Movement is a sourcebook of the original writings that shaped the second century of organized liberal Judaism. The Growth of Reform Judaism features a new introduction, a new epilogue, and important additional primary sources documenting the profound changes of the last fifty years.

Although the emphasis in this volume is chiefly on the American scene, where the movement had its most notable advances, selections of representative liberal Jewish thought in Europe and to a lesser degree in Israel are included as well. These selections help us to understand the emergence and character, problems and tensions of Reform Judaism as it developed and grew in modern times. In addition to the primary texts new to this edition, David Ellenson’s epilogue considers the developments of the last fifty years that have continued to shape the course of Reform Judaism.

Author Bio

Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut (1912–2012) was a longtime rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. The author of more than twenty books on Jewish theology, history, and culture, he is best known for The Torah: A Modern Commentary. Rabbi Jacob K. Shankman (1904–86) was the rabbi of Temple Israel of New Rochelle, New York, and a leader in Reform Judaism. Rabbi Howard A. Berman is the executive director of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism. He lectures at congregations throughout the United States on behalf of the society and teaches regularly at Hebrew Union College. Rabbi David Ellenson is chancellor and past president of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and is the author of Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice: Studies in Tradition and Modernity (JPS, 2014).

Praise

“The characteristic diversity within Reform Judaism is underscored on virtually every page of Plaut’s volumes.”—Rabbi Howard A. Berman, executive director of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism 

“The work of Rabbi Plaut is not only crucial for an understanding of Reform Judaism; it is also indispensable for grasping the development and history of Judaism in the modern world.”—Rabbi David Ellenson, chancellor and past president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Table of Contents

Introduction to the 50th Anniversary Edition by Howard A. Berman
Foreword by Jacob K. Shankman
Preface
Introduction
PART 1--REFORM IN TWO WORLDS
CHAPTER 1: AMERICAN BEGINNINGS
1. Five Cities
2. Two Journals: The Israelite--Sinai (I. M. Wise, D. Einhorn)
3. Two Rabbis in the Civil War (D. Einhorn, J. K. Gutheim)
CHAPTER II: CONGREGATIONAL UNION IN AMERICA
1. Call for an American Synod (I. M. Wise)
2. Cleveland: Invitation--Articles of Union--To Unite the Most Divergent (M. Lilienthal)--Conservative Evaluation (I. Leeser)--A Reformer Protests (D. Einhorn)
3. The Board of Delegates: An Editorial (Jewish Messenger)
4. Cincinnati Conference, 1871
5. Union of American Hebrew Congregations: Three Reasons (M. Loth)--Objectives (From the Constitution)
CHAPTER III: RABBINIC UNION IN AMERICA
1. Philadelphia: Call--Resolutions
2. Pittsburgh: Proceedings--Preparing our Platform (K. Kohler)--The Platform--Discussion--Conservative Comment--Challenge of Ethical Culture (F. Adler)--Defense (G. Gottheil)
3. Founding the CCAR (I. M. Wise)
CHAPTER IV: SEMINARIES
1. Breslau: Invitation to Frankel--Questions Left Unanswered (S. R. Hirsch)--Progressive Tendencies in Judaism (Z. Frankel)
2. Berlin: Fundamental Principles (I. Elbogen)
3. Budapest: Why the Orthodox Opposed the Seminary (L. Löw)--A Choice Faculty (J. Bergl)
4. Cincinnati: Needed, Our Own College (I. M. Wise)--Zion College (I. M. Wise)--Opening of Hebrew Union College (D. Philipson)--Commencement, 1883 (B. Szold)--Ill-fated Banquet (F. de Sola Mendes)
5. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary (American Hebrew--L. Marshall)
CHAPTER V: REALIGNMENT IN EUROPE
1. france: The Paris Conference--Pastoral Letter (S. Ulmann)--The Dreyfus Affair (H. Prague)--L'Union Libérale Israélite
2. England: The Jewish Religious Union (I. Abrahams)
3. Germany: Program for Union--The Guide Lines--Declaration of Liberal Rabbis--French Comment
PART 2--THE AGE OF CRISES
CHAPTER VI: THE FIRST WAR
1. The Battle
2. The Aftermath
CHAPTER VII: THE CHANGING MOVEMENT
1. New Vistas for the Seminaries
2. World Union
3. The Columbus Platform
4. Frontiers and Failures
CHAPTER VIII: THE SOCIAL CONSCIENCE
1. The German Voice
2. The American Voice
CHAPTER IX: GERMANY: DREAM AND NIGHTMARE
1. Tortured Dream
2. Nightmare
3. Reaction
CHAPTER X: ZION: THE GREAT DEBATE
1. Nationalism vs. Universalism
2. Reality and Principle
CHAPTER XI: THE SECOND WAR
CHAPTER XII: THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
1. The Jewish People
2. Chosenness and Mission
3. Jew and Christian
4. Our Jewish Neighbor
PART 3--REFORM IN TRANSITION
CHAPTER XIII: THEOLOGY IN TRANSITION
1. Theology for a New Age
2. Revelation
3. The Nature of God
4. The Reach of Man
5. Faith and Reason
6. The Bible
CHAPTER XIV: PRACTIVE IN TRANSITION
1. Reform and Halakhah
2. Life and Death
3. Marriage
4. Of Food and Fasting
5. The Sabbath
6. Proselytes and Apostates
CHAPTER XV: SYNAGOGUE IN TRANSITION
1. Liturgy
2. Worship Practices
3. Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation
4. Jewish Education
5. The Rabbinic Office
6. The Congregation
Epilogue--Reform Judaism After 1948
Epilogue to the 50th Anniversary Edition by David Ellenson
Select Documents, 1975-2008
Bibliography
Index  

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