Defining Jewish Identity in an Open Society

By Rela Mintz-Geffen

KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1998

The author begins her article by touching on the differing viewpoints held by Jewish leaders in regards to how best to perpetuate the American Jewish community, and then discusses the impact of modernity on identity. Furthermore, Geffen explains the voluntary nature of the Jewish polity in America, which is comprised, in juxtaposition to the medieval Jewish community, of many individuals with varying degrees of biological and marital relationships to Jews and Judaism, and also writes about the shift in the American Jewish polity from a strong, "thick" identification, to a "thin" identification. This identification, in turn, leads many Jews towards the posture of "symbolic ethnicity." Finally, the author concludes by discussing the effect of multiculturalism on Jewish college students.

Topic: Culture, Jewish Identification, Ethnicity, Students, Assimilation, Communal Organization

Name of Publication: Freedom and Responsibility: Exploring the Challenges of Jewish Continuity

Editor: Bryan-Edelman, Marsha , Mintz-Geffen, Rela

Page Number(s): 287-294

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Genre: Book Chapter

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mintz-Geffen, Rela. Defining Jewish Identity in an Open Society. Freedom and Responsibility: Exploring the Challenges of Jewish Continuity. KTAV Publishing House, Inc.. 1998: 287-294.


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