Edited Collections

A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path, Editor. New York: CCAR Press, 2018.

A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path informs and challenges as it asks these essential questions: What are our core beliefs, our most important values, and our range of practices? Why do the choices we make matter so much? What is the legacy we are creating for the generations to come? And why is Reform Judaism critical to the Jewish future? Striving to embody a faith in harmony with our most heartfelt beliefs and our lived experiences, Reform Judaism is dynamic and constantly evolving, driven by passionate and forward-thinking leaders. This book offers in one volume the writings of more than fifty rabbis, scholars, and community leaders who represent the full range of viewpoints and expression that can be seen in Reform Judaism today.

STUDY GUIDE

Jesse Paikin, "A Study Guide for A Life of Meaning: Embracing Reform Judaism's Sacred Path," CCAR Press, 2018.

 

REVIEWS

"Rabbi Dana Kaplan's 'A Life of Meaning' is not 'what Reform Judaism says about...'," Southern Jewish Life, August 6, 2018.

INTERVIEWS

"CCAR Press new authors... Rabbi Peter Knobel and Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan," Blog Talk Radio Podcast, Jewish Sacred Aging, February 20, 2018.

The Cambridge Companion to American Judaism, Editor.  New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

This companion provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the most important and interesting historical and contemporary facets of Judaism in America. Written by twenty-four leading scholars from the fields of religious studies, history, literature, philosophy, art history, sociology, and musicology, the survey adopts an inclusive perspective on Jewish religious experience. Three initial chapters cover the development of Judaism in America from 1654, when Sephardic Jews first landed in New Amsterdam, until today.

REVIEWS

Steven M. Glazer, Book Reviews, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Spring 2007.

 

Marc Lee Raphael, Book Reviews, American Jewish History, March 2007.

Matthew Kraus, “Essays animate study of American Judaism,” The American Israelite, May 18, 2006.

Reviews: American Jewish History, Jewish Book World, Spring 2006.

 

Matthew Kraus, Book Reviews, American Jewish Archives Journal, 2005.

Platforms and Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism, Editor.  Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002.

Since the Enlightenment, Jews have sought to understand Judaism as a modern religion in an intellectual context equivalent to Christianity. This shifted the focus of attention away from the ritual commandments to a concern with the universal foundations of the faith. Platforms and Prayer Books analyzes the impact of that shift, presenting new approaches as well as innovative arguments. The essays in this collection express the inherent difficulty of reconciling theory with practice in a liberal religious framework. In addition, they also demonstrate the surprising vitality of a movement that many expected to decline demographically as well as intellectually. Not only is the Reform movement actually increasing in numbers, but, as this book demonstrates, it is also showing an amazing breadth of creativity. 

 

Through lively discussions, noted scholars and rabbis trace the evolution of Reform Judaism through discussions on theological and liturgical topics that are grounded in the platforms and prayer books that chart the movement's developments through its 200-year history. Contributors with perspectives from both within and outside of Reform Judaism evaluate trends and interpret changes that have taken and are taking place, exploring the historical context and contemporary significance of Reform Jewish belief.

REVIEWS

Mordecai Finley, Book Reviews, CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Summer 2005, 90-93.

Contemporary Debates in American Reform Judaism: Conflicting Visions, Editor.  New York and London: Routledge, 2001.

This is a ground breaking collection of essays that takes a hard look at the Reform Movement today. Opening essays look at the problem of building a religous community, the competition in the "spiritual marketplace," and why people join or do not join a Reform synagogue. Other contributors look at a host of controversial issues including Patrilineal Descent, Outreach, Intermarriage, gender issues, gay and lesbian participation, and others.

REVIEWS

Geoffrey W. Dennis, Book Reviews, CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Fall 2004, 77-79.