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by Samuel G. Freedman

  • ISBN: 0684859459
  • Category: History
  • Author: Samuel G. Freedman
  • Subcategory: Americas
  • Other formats: lrf lrf txt lit
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Touchstone (August 21, 2001)
  • Pages: 397 pages
  • FB2 size: 1597 kb
  • EPUB size: 1682 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 998
Download Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry fb2

Although Friedman's book challenged this relatively uneducated shiksa, he was clear enough for me to understand his history and his points.

E pluribus unum," the noblest of American ideals, lands differently on every group included in the "pluribus. Although Friedman's book challenged this relatively uneducated shiksa, he was clear enough for me to understand his history and his points. but we are blessed with a Pope who has the power to make decisions and cut the Gordian knots, even if there are many who fail to respect his authority.

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Simultaneously I am reading Thomas Friedman’s Beirut to Jerusalem and within the pages of both books can be found not answers rather guidelines, as it were

Simultaneously I am reading Thomas Friedman’s Beirut to Jerusalem and within the pages of both books can be found not answers rather guidelines, as it were. Fundamentally, there are 2 sides to being Jewish. The first is in being Jewish the way Frenchmen are French, a racial and national identity.

Jew vs. Jew tells the story of how American Jewry has increasingly-and perhaps terminally-broken apart in the last forty years. Jew vs. Jew stretches in time from 1960 to 2000. It travels the country from Florida to New England, from Los Angeles to the Catskills in New York, from Cleveland to Denver, and it also crosses the ocean to Israel to show how tensions within the Jewish state inflame those among American Jews. At a time when American Jews should feel more secure and cohesive than ever, civil war is tearing apart their community. Congregations, neighborhoods, even families are taking sides in battles about Jewish identity and Jewish authenticity. Jew tells the story of how American Jewry has increasingly. He skillfully weaves history, both ancient and modern, American and Israeli, into the twentieth-century American events he has chosen to illustrate conflicts between different Jewish factions. Jew tells the story of how American Jewry has increasingly - and perhaps terminally - broken apart in the last forty years. The flash-points range from conversion standards to the role of women, from the peace process in Israel to the sexual climate on an Ivy League campus. But behind them all,.

Samuel G. Freedman (2001). Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry, . 38, Simon and Schuster.

Davidson, Richard . Davis, Michael; Desimone, Robert; Drevets, Wayne . Duman, Ronald . Essock, Susan . Faraone, Stephen . Freedman, Robert; Friston, Karl . Gelernter, Joel; Geller, Barbara; Gill, Michael; Gould, Elizabeth; Grace, Anthony . Grillon, Christian; Gueorguieva. Grillon, Christian; Gueorguieva, Ralitza; Hariri, Ahmad . Innis, Robert . Jones, Edward . Kleinman, Joel . Koob, George . Krystal, Andrew . Leibenluft, Ellen; Levinson, Douglas . Levitt

Jew Vs. Jew is the book of the season. It is a probing, well-written investigation into the heart and soul of the Jewish community in America. Samuel G. Freedman dissects American Jewry, opens raw wounds, uncovers weaknesses, and points out foibles

Jew Vs. Freedman dissects American Jewry, opens raw wounds, uncovers weaknesses, and points out foibles. Jew shows you just where and how American Jewry failed. He is unbiased and shows a truly deep understanding of numerous communities many of which are seldom given a fair portrayal. His conclusions are obvious, yet, nevertheless, jolting.

Fundamentalist vs. secularist, denomination vs. denomination, liberal vs. conservative -- in the last forty years, American Jews have increasingly found themselves torn apart by their diversity. In this chronicle of the evolution of American Jewry, Samuel G. Freedman illuminates the forces that have undermined the traditional peaceful coexistence among the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches, and secular and unaffiliated Jews. Examining recent headline-making stories as well as less publicized controversies, Freedman discusses the vitriolic battles that have arisen over intermarriage, standards of conversion, the role of women in religious ritual, the Middle East peace process, and the secular influence on religious life. As he weighs the arguments of both extremes, Freedman comes to the controversial conclusion that the Jewish-American community is headed for a Reformation, a permanent fracture of one faith into many.
Reviews about Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry (7):
Ariurin
Freedman spent two years and nine months researching and writing this book; the subject is obviously close to his heart but he has worked hard to be scrupulously fair. He skillfully weaves history, both ancient and modern, American and Israeli, into the twentieth-century American events he has chosen to illustrate conflicts between different Jewish factions.

A chapter is given to each of the following:
1963 (Camp Kinderwelt, New York) - the story of Sharon, from a Labor Zionist family, and what the camp meant to her; the camp's decline in popularity and eventual replacement by an Orthodox settlement, hostile to Zionism, whose mayor says of Kinderwelt, "Secular Judaism is failure."

1977-1983 (Denver, Colorado) - an unprecedented experiment in cooperation among Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform rabbis to educate converts, which fails when the Orthodox withdraw, declaring that such conversions should not be considered valid.

1987-89 (Los Angeles) - the Library Minyan conflict over whether prayer to the Matriarchs should be included in the Amidah - after much anguished discussion, a vote permits the prayer, but over a period of time, few choose to include it...

1993-97 (Jacksonville, Fla.) - the story of Harry Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew who plants a supposedly dud bomb in the Conservative Jewish Center, hoping to keep people from hearing Shimon Peres speak.

1995-99 (New Haven, Conn.) - a group of Orthodox young people sue Yale, desiring to be permitted to live off campus rather than in coed dormitories with roommates who do not share their moral standards.

1997-99 (Beachwood, Ohio) - the identity of a suburb which has been a comfortable home for assimilated Reform Jews is threatened by an Orthodox building project - the new neighbors judge the liberal Jews and fail to support the public schools which the liberal neighborhood has built.

"So what's the big deal?" might be your response, if you aren't Jewish, or you are Jewish but don't keep up with this stuff. Isn't it a lot of fuss over nothing? Well, no. When you read about the people involved, the history behind their points of view, the diversity of their backgrounds which often means that they "stand all over the issue" rather than just on one side...you begin to appreciate the incredible diversity of Judaism, and you sympathize with all who are caught in the conflict between liberal and conservative - by their caring.

I read this book because my best friend these days is a Jewish lady and I have begun to get to know her family and celebrate Passover with them. Before this, I lived in Miami and sang in a Conservative Temple choir in the 1980s - our music was piped in to the sanctuary. I did not appreciate until now how recent it was for a female cantorial soloist to be allowed. I was fascinated by what I learned about Judaism during that time, and wanted to know more. Although Friedman's book challenged this relatively uneducated shiksa, he was clear enough for me to understand his history and his points.

Now, as a Catholic, I see parallels between the Jewish factions and the Catholic factions...but we are blessed with a Pope who has the power to make decisions and cut the Gordian knots, even if there are many who fail to respect his authority. The same jokes work for us - how did the priest get rid of the mice in the church? He baptized them, and then they only showed up for Christmas and Easter! The cultural Catholic has a lot in common with the cultural Jew...

I have nothing but respect for those on all sides of these issues - Freedman has done an amazing job in making them real to me. The question of pluralism vs. unity is one which arises in many different contexts, where people care about truth and not just about "getting along," at the expense of betraying important values.

Freedman's final two sentences say it all, to me, and sum up why people should read this book: "It is tragic, yes, that American Jews have battled so bitterly, so viciously, over the very meaning of being Jewish. It is more tragic, perhaps, that the only ones fighting are the only ones left who care."
Mushicage
I don't know if this is a great book but I find myself taking it out of the library and re-reading it every 5 years or so. It is to me the most important book on the state of Jewish affairs, ever.

As we see here from the many anecdotes and cases presented by the author, religious and secular Jews not only don't get along but SHOULDN'T get along. Indeed, as a modern Orthodox Jew, I have far more kinship with most Christians than I do with Reformist or liberal Jews. At least the Christian respects religion and supports Israel, two things most liberal Jews do not. Even rose, as we see in this book, secular Jews go out of their way to mock and even harass religious Jews; for our part, most of us simply want to have nothing to do with these Jews in name only.

I would urge ALL Jews to read this book and see where you fit in the scheme of things because every single one of us will relate to something shown here.
Fenritaur
Freedman intends to study how American Jews differ on how they should interpret religion. For example, some Jews believe in strict adherance to Jewish doctrines, while some favour relaxation, such as letting women participate in religious services.

Freeman gives a good chunk of pages to the conflicts between "Orthodox" Jews, who lead lives dictated by religion, and more secular Jews, such as the Reform and Conservative groups. When Orthodox families flood a neighborhood that had been Jewish for years, contention began. The long-time residents, many of whom were World War 2 veterans, were Jewish, yet religion didn't permeate their lives. They vehemently opposed the building of a new Synagogue in their neighborhood, and in a claim that echoes 1950's racism, felt that Orthodox Jews were ruining the character of the neighborhood.

When I first read this book in 2000 I had been waiting for it for years. For anyone studying Sociology in college, books about America's religious books are a must. The problem here is that Freeman's writing is very superficial. This book could have been longer, yet Freeman skims over a lot of issues that could have benefited from more extensive interviews and research. It seems asthough this book was hastily thrown together to meet a publishing deadline.
heart of sky
This book is basically a collection of magazine articles without much in common except that they involve some kind of intra-Jewish disagreement. Like a magazine article, it is thankfully a quick read; I finished reading it in five or six hours (about as much as it deserves).
On balance, I didn't react as violently (either pro or con) as some other reviewers did. Generally, the stories were mildly interesting. I think Friedman tries to be fair-minded, though there are a couple of biases that I think don't make sense outside the nation's most Jewish cities. Perhaps because he lives in NYC (the nation's most Jewish city), he overestimates the severity of Orthodox/non-Orthodox infighting; for example, he focuses on a bitter Orthodox vs. non-Orthodox zoning dispute in a Cleveland suburb which I subject is almost unprecedented outside the biggest cities, for the simple reason that very few places outside NYC are 80% Jewish (as the suburb in question was). Also, he has weirdly pessimistic about modern Orthodoxy, virtually predicting its extinction (perhaps because of NYC's huge Hasidic population). In Atlanta, where I live, modern Orthodoxy seems to be on the proverbial move, other forms of Orthodoxy are barely noticeable to anyone outside the Orthodox community (except for Chabad, which seems to get on OK with everyone) and the various types of Jews go about their business and don't bother each other.

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