• American Israelis

    Author Uzi Rebhun and Lilach Lev Ari


    This book is a scientific and comprehensive analysis of Israelis who live in the United States. Using different complementary sources of data, and through cutting-edge approaches in the social sciences, this volume examines the settlement patterns of the Israeli immigrants, their social profile, their economic achievements, their Americanization processes, as well as the nature and rhythm of their Jewish identification including changes in attachment to the homeland. The characteristics of the immigrants shed light on Israeli society. At the same time they also have important implications for the Jewish community in the host country and on Jewish continuity in America.

    "...Rebhun and Lev Ari do what the title outlines. They offer nuanced and in-depth insights into transnationalism, identity and diaspora of American Jewish Israelis. Based on their theoretical and methodological expertise, the book can be recommended to scholars of these areas, regardless of its focus on Israel. For experts, American Israelis is a gem: it offers so much in terms of data and analysis that it makes for many questions, which should be addressed in further research, qualitative and quantitative alike."
    Dani Kranz, Erfurt University

    "This book is central to Israeli Studies as it has comprehensive and current data on Israelis in America."
    Yoram Bitton, Columbia University

  • The American Dream--For Men Only?

    Author Lilach Lev Ari


    Lev Ari looks closely at three components of Israelis immigration to and assimilation in the USA: motives and the decision to emigrate; economic, social and cultural assimilation, and the respondents attitudes toward a return to Israel. The theoretical framework is anchored in new perceptions of migration research, particularly in transnationalism theory. These attempt to understand migration more deeply as a combination of socioeconomic and cultural influences. Migration to the USA increases choices for some groups of immigrants, both men and women, while among others, differences in status and in sources of power persist even after they emigrate.

  • Syrian Jewry in Transition, 1840–1880

    Author Yaron Harel


    Detailed and compelling, this pioneering study of Syria's key Jewish communities at an important juncture in their history covers Jewish community life, the legal status of Jews in Syria, their relationship with their Muslim and Christian neighbours, and their links with the West. Drawing on a wide range of archival material in six languages, it brings to light an enormous amount of material and provides a broad, multifaceted perspective on Jewish life in Syria.

  • Toward a New History of Hasidism

    Author Moshe Rosman, Ada Rapoport-Albert, Marcin Wodzinski

  • Exclusion and Hierarchy: Orthodoxy, Non-Observance and the Emergence of Modern Jewish Identity

    Author Adam S. Ferziger


    From the eighteenth-century a rising number European Jews chose not to observe the religious laws and customs that had earlier marked them as culturally different from their Christian peers. In parallel, an orthodox movement also emerged, creating a discrete identity for a group within the Jewish community that opted not to move toward the mainstream but instead to embrace the traditional laws.

    By tracing the evolution of the approach of the Orthodox to their nonpracticing brethren, Adam S. Ferziger sheds new light on the emergence of Orthodoxy as a specific movement within modern Jewish society. In the course of this process, German Orthodoxy in particular articulated a new hierarchical vision of Jewish identity and the structure of modern Jewish society. Viewing Orthodox Judaism as no less a nineteenth-century phenomenon than Reform Judaism or Zionism, Ferziger looks at the ways it defined itself by its relationship to the nonobservant Jewish population. Ferziger argues that as the Orthodox movement developed, it rejected the stance that the assimilated and nonobservers were deviant outcasts. Instead, they were accepted as legitimate members of a Jewish community, in which Orthodox Jews occupied the pinnacle, as the guardians of its tradition.

    This book's contribution, however, moves beyond a historical study of Orthodox Judaism. The sociological methodology that Ferziger employs enables the reader to appreciate how other religious groups have sought to carve out their places within the mosaic of modern society

  • Rabbinisme et paganisme en Palestine romaine

    Author עמנואל פרידהיים


    הספר דן בעיקר במידת ידיעתם של חכמי ארץ-ישראל מימי המשנה והתלמוד על אודות הפגאניות מן התקופה הרומית המאוחרת, וכן מצביע על קיומם של יהודים עובדי עבודה זרה בארץ-ישראל הרומית-ביזנטית. וזאת בניגוד לדעתו של פרופ' א"א אורבך שהותיר משנת 1959 ועד שנות האלפיים את חותמו בעניין זה בהיסטוריוגרפיה של התקופה. אשר לחקר הידע של החכמים בענייני עבודת הנכר, יש להזכיר את דבריו של פרופ' שאול ליברמן: "פרטים בודדים על מנהגי עבודה זרה ועובדיה מפוזרים בכל כתבי הספרות התלמודית. הדיון בנושא זה לפרטיו היה מצריך חיבור שלם" (הנ"ל, יוונית ויוונות בארץ-ישראל, עמ' 245). חיבורנו מוכיח כי לחכמים היו אכן ידיעות הרבה יותר מעמיקות לגבי פולחנים פגאניים סוריים-פויניקיים, ערביים, אנטוליים ויווניים-רומיים, משחשבו תחילה בעולם המחקר, וכי הצורך בידיעות עיוניות נבע מן המציאות החברתית הבעייתית של יישובים מעורבים שהולידה תופעות של יהודים פוליתאיסטיים, ומכאן שאלות נוקבות בעניין הזהות היהודית בימי קדם. 

  • Beyond Sectarianism - The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism

    Author אדם פרזיגר


    In 1965 social scientist Charles S. Liebman published a study that boldly declared the vitality of American Jewish Orthodoxy and went on to guide scholarly investigations of the group for the next four decades. As American Orthodoxy continues to grow in geographical, institutional, and political strength, author Adam S. Ferziger argues in Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism that one of Liebman’s principal definitions needs to be updated. While Liebman proposed that the "committed Orthodox" —observant rather than nominally affiliated—could be divided into two main streams: "church," or Modern Orthodoxy, and "sectarian," or Haredi Orthodoxy, Ferziger traces a narrowing of the gap between them and ultimately a realignment of American Orthodox Judaism.

    Ferziger shows that significant elements within Haredi Orthodoxy have abandoned certain strict and seemingly uncontested norms. He begins by offering fresh insight into the division between the American sectarian Orthodox and Modern Orthodox streams that developed in the early twentieth century and highlights New York’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun as a pioneering Modern Orthodox synagogue. Ferziger also considers the nuances of American Orthodoxy as reflected in Soviet Jewish activism during the 1960s and early 1970s and educational trips to Poland taken by American Orthodox young adults studying in Israel, and explores the responses of prominent rabbinical authorities to Orthodox feminism and its call for expanded public religious roles for women. Considerable discussion is dedicated to the emergence of outreach to nonobservant Jews as a central priority for Haredi Orthodoxy and how this focus outside its core population reflects fundamental changes. In this context, Ferziger presents evidence for the growing influence of Chabad Hasidism – what he terms the "Chabadization of American Orthodoxy."

    Recent studies, including the 2013 Pew Survey of U.S. Jewry, demonstrate that an active and strongly connected American Orthodox Jewish population is poised to grow in the coming decades. Jewish studies scholars and readers interested in history, sociology, and religion will appreciate Ferziger’s reappraisal of this important group.

  • Stones Speak

    Author David Malkiel


    This book is about the birth of Christianity. Its perspective, however, is a Jewish one. It suggests that Christianity, as a discrete religious entity, distinct from Judaism, was born, among many other things, out of a complicated and dynamic social and discursive process of both seclusion and exclusion, in which various Jewish groups, among which were also the followers of Jesus, were introduced under the rabbinic category of minim, and were thus produced by rabbinic discourse as “others,” as “non-Jews.”

                In early rabbinic parlance, minim is a broad term for different Jewish groups, who were considered by the rabbis as having secluded themselves from the community, and social separatism (or any indication of a tendency toward separatism) is termed minut. This book’s argument is that the emergence of the rabbinic discourse of minut was a response to an identity crisis of a posttraumatic society, shattered by the powerful Roman empire. In order to reaffirm its values and distinct Jewish identity Palestinian rabbinic society developed a discourse of “separatism,” in which its boundaries were reestablished by the labeling of some Jews as minim, and their placement beyond the pale. Initially, it is argued, Christianity played only a very modest role in that process, and the early Christians were introduced into the category of minim and became to be considered as such only gradually. Throughout Late Antiquity, the “significant other” for Palestinian rabbis remained the Roman empire, and one of the religious issues with which they were most occupied was the empire’s power and the religious challenge that it posed to God’s sovereignty.