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The Growth of Reform Judaism


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Introduction to the 50th Anniversary Edition by Howard A. BermanForeword by Jacob K. ShankmanPrefaceIntroductionPART 1--REFORM IN TWO WORLDSCHAPTER 1: AMERICAN BEGINNINGS1. Five Cities2. 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 AMERICA1. 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, 18715. Union of American Hebrew Congregations: Three Reasons (M. Loth)--Objectives (From the Constitution)CHAPTER III: RABBINIC UNION IN AMERICA1. Philadelphia: Call--Resolutions2. 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: SEMINARIES1. 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. Loew)--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 EUROPE1. france: The Paris Conference--Pastoral Letter (S. Ulmann)--The Dreyfus Affair (H. Prague)--L'Union Liberale Israelite2. England: The Jewish Religious Union (I. Abrahams)3. Germany: Program for Union--The Guide Lines--Declaration of Liberal Rabbis--French CommentPART 2--THE AGE OF CRISESCHAPTER VI: THE FIRST WAR1. The Battle2. The AftermathCHAPTER VII: THE CHANGING MOVEMENT1. New Vistas for the Seminaries2. World Union3. The Columbus Platform4. Frontiers and FailuresCHAPTER VIII: THE SOCIAL CONSCIENCE1. The German Voice2. The American VoiceCHAPTER IX: GERMANY: DREAM AND NIGHTMARE1. Tortured Dream2. Nightmare3. ReactionCHAPTER X: ZION: THE GREAT DEBATE1. Nationalism vs. Universalism2. Reality and PrincipleCHAPTER XI: THE SECOND WARCHAPTER XII: THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT1. The Jewish People2. Chosenness and Mission3. Jew and Christian4. Our Jewish NeighborPART 3--REFORM IN TRANSITIONCHAPTER XIII: THEOLOGY IN TRANSITION1. Theology for a New Age2. Revelation3. The Nature of God4. The Reach of Man5. Faith and Reason6. The BibleCHAPTER XIV: PRACTIVE IN TRANSITION1. Reform and Halakhah2. Life and Death3. Marriage4. Of Food and Fasting5. The Sabbath6. Proselytes and ApostatesCHAPTER XV: SYNAGOGUE IN TRANSITION1. Liturgy2. Worship Practices3. Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation4. Jewish Education5. The Rabbinic Office6. The CongregationEpilogue--Reform Judaism After 1948Epilogue to the 50th Anniversary Edition by David EllensonSelect Documents, 1975-2008BibliographyIndex

About the Author

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).


"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 -- Rabbi Howard A. Berman
"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 -- Rabbi David Ellenson

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