Becoming American Jews

Temple Israel of Boston

Meaghan Dwyer-Ryan, Susan L. Porter, and Lisa Fagin Davis

Becoming American Jews

Meaghan Dwyer-Ryan, Susan L. Porter, and Lisa Fagin Davis

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

280 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781584657903 Published September 2009
From its beginning in 1854 as a traditional German shul to its current status as the largest Reform synagogue in New England, Temple Israel has been an important force in Boston and American Jewish life. The congregation’s ongoing efforts to adapt to changes in American society while preserving balance—between tradition and innovation, between acculturation and distinctiveness—exemplify the transformations in religious worship practices, education, and social justice that mark modern American Reform Judaism. This volume, based on hundreds of archival documents, demographic data, and oral histories, and illustrated with more than 200 images, brings to life the stories of the men, women, and children who have built and maintained this vital Jewish community for more than 150 years.
Contents
Foreword – Rabbi Ronne Friedman • Preface • Acknowledgments • The Synagogue and the Community, 1842–1874 • Becoming a Reform Temple, 1874–1911 • The Era of Optimism, 1911–1928 • The “Menace of These Tragic Times,” 1928–1953 • Prophetic Judaism and the “Symphony of American Life,” 1953–1973 • “A Home for Every Constituency,” 1973–1988 • “A Community of Communities,” 1988–2009 • Appendix • Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Professional Staff of Temple Israel, 1854–2009 • Notes to the Text • Notes to the Sidebars and Images • Bibliography • Index
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