The Struggle for Jewish Identity in a Reform Synagogue
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"Beyond Yiddishkeit deals in an intelligent and perceptive way with the issue of Jewish identity in an affluent and highly educated suburban community. Particularly significant is that it relies upon participant observation, as well as ethnographic interview techniques and data, on the part of the author. In this way, the work constitutes the first major study of this type conducted within the liberal Jewish American community. As such, it is a "pioneering" work. Equally impressive is the author's command of the sociological literature on issues of identity and her ability to apply it to the data gathered in this study. She makes sociological jargon intelligible and presents an easily-read and well-constructed book. Her ability throughout the work to focus on issues of modernity is insightful and brilliant. I found myself racing through the book and, indeed, read it in one sitting. This really is an unparalleled work in this field. " — David Ellenson, Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion
Frida Kerner Furman is Assistant Professor of Social Ethics at DePaul University.
"This book addresses an intellectually and socially important question using data which are original and powerful demonstrations of the main argument. It is well written—even fast-paced. I found myself eager to continue reading because the descriptions and analyses were presented in an accessible and lively manner that showed respect for the reader's intellect but avoided a dry, jargon-filled style. The conclusions follow neatly from the premises and are thought-provoking. " — Terrie G. Raphael, Elderplan, Inc.