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JST 505 - Perspectives on American Judaism

While rooted in the philosophies of past generations, American Judaism has emerged in the twenty-first century as a multi-denominational enterprise. In addition to studying the social history, theology and organizational development of various American Jewish movements’ guests representing Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Hasidic and New Age points of view will discuss their vision and spiritual and ritual practice of Judaism. The role of God, prayer, commandments and obligations in a volunteristic community, creation of new life cycle rituals and the impact of the Jewish feminist movement on American Judaism will all be explored.