Chapter

Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky and Shelley Fisher Fishkin (eds.), <i>People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity</i>. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. x + 507 pp.

Milton Shain

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry an Annual XV 1999

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195134681
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848652 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134681.003.0038

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky and Shelley Fisher Fishkin (eds.), People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. x + 507 pp.

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A review of the book, People of the Book: Thirty Scholars Reflect on Their Jewish Identity by Jeffrey Rubin–Dorsky and Shelley Fisher Fishkin (eds.) is presented. Introducing this enterprising and creative collection, the editors ask “whether the commitment and creativity that has enabled the Jewish people to survive for five thousand years may be reconfigured anew at the end of the 20th century.” Their question relates to those doomsday prophecies that see acculturation and assimilation delivering a death blow to Jewish “peoplehood.” At issue here is the very meaning of “Jewishness.” Is it, as some claim, a question of faith and observance — or can the net of Jewishness be cast wider to incorporate other meaningful modes of Jewish identity? The editors firmly believe that the latter is possible, at least in America. Paradigms of Jewishness can be reconfigured; identity is “something one does, not something one has”.

Keywords: faith; Jewishness; Jewish identity

Chapter.  1116 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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