A Charismatic Community: Congregation B'nai Jeshrun

By Shaul Kelner

Wexner Foundation, 1999

This case looks at the highly successful Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York City, which regularly has over 1,000 attendees at its Friday night services. It addresses the following questions: What is going on behind those doors that is worth lining up outside in the winter for? And can this model be replicated in other synagogues? The case is a product of ethnographic participant-observation, in-depth interviews with community leaders, and documentary analysis conducted over a two-and-a-half year period. The ethnographic method takes account of the official philosophies, approaches and strategies as articulated by the rabbis and lay leadership of the congregation, but it does not rely on stated policy alone. Oftentimes, the essence of a social group cannot be found in official policies and strategies, but must be sought in the actual behavior of the group itself.

Topic: Spirituality, Prayer Communities, Leadership, Scholarship, Academic Research, Synagogues and Congregations

Name of Publication: Jewish Leadership Case Series

Volume/Issue: No.1

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Genre: Report

Coverage: New York

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Kelner, Shaul. A Charismatic Community: Congregation B'nai Jeshrun. Jewish Leadership Case Series. Wexner Foundation. 1999: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4283


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