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The Jew Within: Self, Family, and Community in America [Hardcover]

By Steven M. Cohen (Author) & Arnold M. Eisen (Author)
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Item Number 588269  
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Item Description...

"Cohen and Eisen have written that rare work, a book that really matters With clarity and grace, The Jew Within tells the story of how American Jews live and understand their Judaism over the span of their lives, in their families, and among their friends." --Riv-Ellen Prell

..". a marvelous book. The authors have succeeded in conveying in a very convincing manner the meaning of Jewish identity, Jewish belief, and Jewish practice among a most... important sector of American Jews: the baby-boomer generation." --Charles S. Liebman

Rocked by reports of soaring intermarriage rates, rampant assimilation, and diminishing population, the American Jewish community has been concerned with issues of Jewish identification and continuity. What factors shape, nourish, and sustain Jewish commitment? What leads some Jews to place Jewish commitment at the center of their lives, while others consign it to the margins? What matters most to American Jews and why? Through in-depth interviews with Jews across the country, Arnold M. Eisen and Steven M. Cohen, two of the keenest observers and analysts of American Jewish life, probe beneath the surface to explore the foundations of belief and behavior among moderately affiliated American Jews. Among their thought-provoking conclusions are that the construction of Jewish meaning in America is personal and private and that communal loyalties and norms no longer shape Jewish identity as they did several decades ago. The rich and moving personal narratives presented by the authors, accompanied by insightful analysis, raise important questions for all those concerned with the meaning and future of Judaism in American life.

Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.54" Width: 6.43" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.21 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 22, 2000
Publisher   Indiana University Press
ISBN  0253337828  
EAN  9780253337825  

Availability  0 units.

Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
If I am only for myself, what am I?  Apr 13, 2005
The trend pointed out in this book toward increasing Jewish retreat from communal participation and responsibility fits in with the wider pattern in American society as a whole. The shift in focus from inherited shared traditional commitment to absolutely autonomous individual choice in defining one's relation to the Jewish community is both a fact of life and a signal of decline. The contradiction to this trend is the improved Jewish education an increasing minority of the community is receiving. Such education ideally does strengthen communal commitment and responsibility.
I have heard Steven Cohen speak about the issues raised in this book and had the sense that he was far too optimistic in believing that the very partial and limited kinds of Jewish connection so increasingly prevalent among American Jewry can be a source of real communal strength in the future.
We are All Jews by Choices  Sep 18, 2003
The Jew Within transforms the notion of identity in general from one of membership, an organic part of a primary social group,to one of partial, temporary choices which may not even be called "commitments." The quotes from interviews are judiciously chosen and the analysis excellent. A superb book for any one interested in modern identity, in Jewish identity and in Jewish education. Noam Zion, author of A Different Night, Family Participation Haggadah
got insomnia?  Nov 22, 2002
this is an interesting subject but it is way out-weighed by the turgid writing.
The Author is as Impressive as his Writings  Mar 5, 2001
I had the opportunity to listen to Professor Eisen during a Scholar in Residence weekend at my synagogue. I'm not sure what's more engaging - hearing him speak or reading his book. GET THIS BOOK. It's not just for Jews - it will make you think about your place in the world regardless of your religious or cultural affilation.

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