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Who Rules the Synagogue? – Religious Authority and the Formation of American Judaism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Who Rules the Synagogue?: Religious Authority and the Formation of American Judaism

Zev Eleff


Who Rules the Synagogue explores how American Jewry in the nineteenth century transformed from a lay dominated community to one whose leading religious authorities were rabbis. Previous scholars have charter the religious history of American Judaism during this era but never with religious authority in mind. In contrast, this book aims to place this subject at the center of this formative period. Early in the century, American Jews consciously excluded rabbinic forces from playing a role in their community’s development. By the final decades of the 1800s, ordained rabbis—most noticeably in the ... More

Keywords: American religion, American Jewish history, modern Jewish history, Judaism, religious authority, nineteenth century, rabbis

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190490270
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190490270.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Zev Eleff, author
Instructor, Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University