National Variations in Jewish Identity

Implications for Jewish Education

Edited by Steven M. Cohen & Gabriel Horenczyk

Subjects: Educational Research
Paperback : 9780791443729, 325 pages, November 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443712, 325 pages, November 1999

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Table of contents

Steven M. Cohen

Part I. Jewish Responses to Modernity

1. Being Jewish and . . .
Michael A. Meyer

2. Jewish Religious, Ethnic, and National Identities: Convergences and Conflicts
Daniel J. Elazar

3. Arthur Ruppin Revisited: The Jews of Today, 1904–1994
Sergio DellaPergola

4. A Tradition of Invention: Family and Educational Institutions among Contemporary Traditionalizing Jews
Harvey E. Goldberg

Part II. European and North American Variations

5. National Contexts, Eastern European Immigrants, and Jewish Identity: A Comparative Analysis
Paula E. Hyman

6. British Jews or Britons of the Jewish Persuasion? The Religious Constraints of Civic Freedom
Geoffrey Alderman

7. Reluctant Cosmopolitans: The Impact of Continentalism, Multiculturalism, and Globalization on Jewish Identity in Canada
Stuart Schoenfeld

8. From Commandment to Persuasion: Probing the "Hard" Secularism of American Jewry
Henry L. Feingold

9. Family Economy/Family Relations: The Development of American Jewish Ethnicity in the Early Twentieth Century
Riv-Ellen Prell

Part III. Regional Variations in the United States

10. Inventing Jewish Identity in California: Shlomo Bardin, Zionism, and the Brandeis Camp Institute
Deborah Dash Moore

11. Jewishness in New York: Exception or the Rule?
Bethamie Horowitz

Part IV. The Israeli Difference

12. From Individuality to Identity: Directions in the Thought of J. B. Soloveitchik and Eliezer Schweid
Jonathan Cohen

13. Patterns of Jewish Identity Among Israeli Youth and Implications for Teaching of Jewish Sources
Asher Shkedi

14. A Social Constructivist Approach to Jewish Identity
Gabriel Horencyzk and Zvi Bekerman

15. Jewish and Other National and Ethnic Identities of Israeli Jews
Stephen Sharot


Explores how and why Jewish identity varies in different locations around the world and examines the implications of these variations for Jewish education.


A collaboration of the world's leading contemporary Jewry scholars, this book explains how and why Jewish identity differs in various societies and regions and the impact of these variations on the theory and practice of Jewish education. The authors discuss differences that extend beyond such immediately obvious variations as language and dress. Included is an examination of what Jews believe they share and what sets them apart from others; what specific elements of Judaism, which conceptualizations, and which interpretations acquire special emphasis; and the extent to which, and the manner in which, Jews are to function as part of the larger societies in which they dwell.

At the Hebrew University, Steven M. Cohen is Associate Professor at the Melton Center for Jewish Education and Gabriel Horenczyk is Senior Lecturer at the Melton Center and the School of Education. Cohen is the author of several books, including Two Worlds of Judaism: The Israeli and American Experiences (with Charles Liebman), and Cosmopolitans and Parochials: Modern Orthodox Jews in America (with Samuel C. Heilman). Horenczyk is the coeditor of Language, Identity, and Immigration (with Elite Olshtain).


"This book is a good survey of present knowledge and issues in the study of Jewish identity and its implications for education. " — Nathan Glazer, Harvard University

"National Variations in Jewish Identity is a lively study of vital issues facing Jews¬–a sure tribute to the superb group of scholars who contributed. " — Jack Wertheimer, Jewish Theological Seminary