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American Judaism

A History

  • Jonathan D. Sarna
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Winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award, offered by the Jewish Book Council.

Winner of the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute 2005 Prize for Best Book in American Jewish Studies;

Co-winner of the American Jewish Historical Society's Saul Viener Prize for the Outstanding Book in American Jewish History, 2003-2004

Selected by Publishers Weekly as a Best Book of 2004 in the Religion category

Won Honorable Mention for the 2004 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Annual Award Competition in the Religion category

Selected as a finalist for the 2005 Koret Jewish Book Awards in the History category

Named a (2004) Los Angeles Times bestseller   

Won Honorable Mention for the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Religion Category  

Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2005

Received rating of "Outstanding" from members of the 2005 University Press Books Committee

This magisterial work chronicles the 350-year history of the Jewish religion in America. Tracing American Judaism from its origins in the colonial era through the present day, Jonathan Sarna explores the ways in which Judaism adapted in this new context. How did American culture—predominantly Protestant and overwhelmingly capitalist—affect Jewish religion and culture? And how did American Jews shape their own communities and faith in the new world?

Jonathan Sarna, a preeminent scholar of American Judaism, tells the story of individuals struggling to remain Jewish while also becoming American. He offers a dynamic and timely history of assimilation and revitalization, of faith lost and faith regained. The first comprehensive history of American Judaism in over fifty years, this book is both a celebration of 350 years of Jewish life in America and essential reading for anyone interested in American religion and life.

Jonathan Sarna is Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, and chairs the Academic Board of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. Author or editor of more than twenty books on American Jewish history and life, he is also the chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History and of the 350th commemoration of Jewish life in America, 1654-2004.

Selected by the American Jewish Committee as part of its "Canon of Jewish Literacy."

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