Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
July 2012
Dear Friends,
RRC Ziegelman Hall

In previous months this year we've examined the "big three" denominations in American Jewish life: Reform in February, Conservative in April, and Orthodox in May. This month we round out the series with some other denominational (and other-than-denominational) expressions of American Judaism.  Here is a small sample of the publications featured in the full BJPA Reader's Guide to Reconstructionism, Renewal, and Other Religious Identities

Reconstructionist Judaism
Deborah Waxman, Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. Zeek. January 31, 2012 
Patti Haskell. The Reconstructionist. 2007 
Renewal Judaism 
David Shneer. AJS Perspectives. 2011 
Shaul Magid. The Reconstructionist. 2004 
Outside the Box: DIY Jewish.
Ben Dreyfus. Sh'ma. December 2011
Rahel Musleah. Hadassah Magazine. September 2009

Havurah Movement
Tobin Belzer. My Jewish Learning. 2009
Riv-Ellen Prell. Zeek. January 2008


Click here to download the entire Guide. 


With best wishes,



Prof. Steven M. Cohen

Director, Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner


Areikat Screenshot New Publication: Southern Jewish History
BJPA now holds the first
three volumes of Southern Jewish History, the Journal
of the Southern Jewish Historical Society.

Click here to browse articles from the journal available on BJPA.
Now at 14,000+ publications, and growing

Some of our latest additions:


Idea Piece for the Global Planning Table: The Global Jewish Creativity Initiative. Steven M. Cohen. 2012  


2012 AJC Survey of American Jewish Opinion. AJC, 2012  


The Chosen People?: Two Perspectives. Deborah Waxman, Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. Zeek, 2012


Daycare Centers for the Elderly - Patterns of Utilization, Contributions and Programmatic Directions. Shirli Resnizky, Shmuel Be'er, Shiri Nir, Malka Korazim, Jenny Brodsky. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, 2012


Expanding Adoption Opportunities For Children At RiskYoa Sorek, Fida Nijim-EktelatMyers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, 2012


The Paideia European-Jewish Leadership Program: Graduate Views of Program Contributions and Impacts. Malka Korazim, Esther Katz. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, 2012


Framing the American Jewish Economy. Steven WindmuellereJewish Philanthropy, 2012 


Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011  


New Economic Challenges, New Opportunities: The Unfolding of the Third American Jewish Revolution. Steven WindmuellereJewish Philanthropy, 2012

Penetrating the Campus: Understanding How Anti-Western Biases Relate to Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism. Aryeh K. Weinberg. Institute for Jewish and Community Research, 2012


Synagogue and Jewish Church: A Congregational History of North CarolinaLeonard Rogoff. Southern Jewish History, 1998.


Jewish Merchants and Black Customers in the Age of Jim Crow. Clive Webb. Southern Jewish History, 1998.     



Click here to browse our latest additions. 

New at North American Jewish Databank

JDB The Jewish Vote 2012

Comparisons of Jewish Communities: A Compendium of Tables and Bar Charts

The Influence of Community Context and Individual Characteristics on Jewish Identity: A 21-Community Study

Jewish Population in the United States, 2011

World Jewish Population, 2010

2012 Jewish Values Survey  

J-Vault: Empowered Judaism, 1956 EditionJ-Vault

Among the authors featured in [this month's] guide will be Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, one of the founders of Mechon Hadar... Rabbi Kaunfer is also the author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities...

In this installment of the J-Vault, we see that similar calls to renew Jewish lay empowerment, rethink synagogue institutions and communal prayer, and reconsider the nature of the rabbinate, can also be found in the world of the mid-20th-century Jewish institutional world...

From the J-Vault: The Jewish Community and the Synagogue in Perspective (1956)

 "I am less impressed by the thousands of students in the Sunday schools, the magnificence of the facilities, and the pageants," said Judah J. Shapiro, "than by the sterility of curricula and the limited time spent by the child at the school." Shapiro was speaking at the 1956 annual meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Communal Service. Excerpts:   


[I]n the eastern European Jewish community, the average Jew had learned sufficiently to know what was expected of him as a Jew and could answer most of his questions out of his own learning... because of his learning, the layman knew at what point to turn to the rabbi who then delved and pondered and was in turn, checked and perhaps corrected by the layman in defining a position. Compare this with our own situation!  


Rabbi [Emanuel] Rackman adds weight to this description when he says: "Rabbis derive their authority as interpreters of the law from the people, but this authority can only be conferred by a public literate enough to recognize who is worthy of it. ''...


In Chelm, it is told, the inhabitants realized how difficult it was to search for something lost in the dark. Accustomed to deal with all problems that presented themselves, they finally decided to hang a large sign on the synagogue, boldly illuminated at night, on which was inscribed in big letters: "All searching done here." In this way, when anyone lost something in the dark at night, he found it much more comfortable to do his seeking by the light of the synagogue. I fear that our synagogues here are not assisting the individual members with the resources and tools to face the questions which arise in the home and in the office and on the street but rather call out, '' All searching done here, in the synagogue." There the rabbi sits with the answers. Our problem in this area is to give the Jew the Jewish resources and outlook which will permit him to function Jewishly wherever he finds himself and on whatever terms he has formulated his Jewishness...   


Click here to

Check out earlier editions of the J-Vault.   


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BJPA is funded by the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation and the Charles H. Revson Foundation.