Inventing American Jewry

By Beth S. Wenger

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), Spring 2011

Innovation has been the defining feature of American Jewish culture since its inception. Never before in modern history had Jews created a new community entirely from the ground up, constructing a culture on a blank slate, with virtually no restrictions imposed on them by the government. A community that began its history far away from the vital centers of Jewish culture and the authority of established traditions, America's Jews operated in an environment that nurtured creativity and multiple expressions of Jewish identity. The freedoms afforded to American Jews coupled with the openness of the new nation laid the groundwork for novel expressions of Jewish culture and led to the creation of a Jewish community founded on the principles of pluralism and diversity.

Topic: Innovation, History, Culture, Community Relations, Jewish Organizations

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Naron Chalew, Gail

Volume/Issue: Vol.86/No.1/2

Page Number(s): 3--9

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Wenger, Beth S. Inventing American Jewry. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Spring 2011: 3--9. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13807


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