Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life

Zev Eleff (Author)

Product Details

Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
January 21, 2020
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.88 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Zev Eleff is chief academic officer of Hebrew Theological College and associate professor of Jewish History at Touro College. He is the author or editor of nine books and more than forty scholarly articles in the field of American Jewish studies. His Who Rules the Synagogue: Religious Authority and the Formation of American Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History were both finalists for the 2016 National Jewish Book Award.


Eleff has done it again. It is one thing to analyze events in retrospect; it is much harder to understand them as they are occurring. Painstakingly researched, carefully argued, and sensitively and respectfully formulated by a keen, thoughtful observer of contemporary Jewish life, this outstanding book illuminates many trends in Orthodoxy and in the American Jewish community writ large.-- (08/06/2019)
Authentically Orthodox pushes the study of American Orthodoxy beyond the bounds of previous scholarship to explore 'lived religion' and the quest for 'authenticity.' Eleff's fascinating historical case studies demonstrate how the quotidian (Passover peanut oil!) can illuminate larger trends and how much American Orthodoxy has been shaped by the ever-changing culture that surrounds it. A fabulous contribution.-- (08/06/2019)
Eleff applies his rigorous training in the history of American religion to more contemporary Jewish trends. He highlights often overlooked examples of 'lived Judaism' and contextualizes them with the broader religious landscape. The result is a fresh and insightful perspective that emphasizes the particularly American elements in Modern Orthodox Judaism.-- (08/06/2019)
With a fresh perspective, Authentically Orthodox: A Tradition-Bound Faith in American Life challenges the current historical paradigm in the study of Orthodox Judaism and other tradition-bound faith communities in the United States.Paying attention to "lived religion," the book moves beyond sermons and synagogues and examines the webs of experiences mediated by any number of American cultural forces. With exceptional writing, Zev Eleff lucidly explores Orthodox Judaism's engagement with Jewish law, youth culture and gender, and how this religious group has been affected by its indigenous environs.-- (02/02/2020)