Varieties of Authenticity in Contemporary Jewish Identity

By Stuart Z. Charmé

Indiana University Press, Winter 2000

Authenticity has become the key term for postmodern reconstructions and "renewals" of Jewish identity. As feminist, progressive, gay/lesbian, environmentalist, secular, and many other kinds of Jews lay claim to parts of traditional Judaism that offer recognition and respect to the previously marginalized parts of their identities, they also seek elements that they consider to be "authentically Jewish." Why has the term "authentic" become such an important qualifier of Jewish identity, tradition, culture, and religion? In what sense is it possible to describe a Jewish person, place, practice, or ideological position as valid, real, or authentic? This article will analyze some of the historical and cultural roots of the idea of authenticity in general and how different conceptions of authenticity are or might be applied to Jewish identity, culture, and tradition.

Topic: Philosophy, History, Tradition, Culture, Jewish Content, Jewish Identification, Judaic Studies, Jewish Studies

Name of Publication: Jewish Social Studies

Volume/Issue: Vol.6/no.2

Page Number(s): 133-135

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Charmé, Stuart Z. Varieties of Authenticity in Contemporary Jewish Identity. Jewish Social Studies. Indiana University Press. Winter 2000: 133-135. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13383


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