The Organization of American Jewry

By Mordecai M. Kaplan

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), National Conference of Jewish Social Service, September 1935

In this extensive article, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, provides a broad and comprehensive overview of American Jewry's perceptions and assumptions about Jewish identity. American Jews must give up its completely individualistic outlook, he writes, and embrace communal identification, communal structures, and communal destiny, even while preserving a diversity of ideologies and perspectives within the overall community. He discusses the needs of the Jewish community which communal organizations must meet, including needs of fellowship, spiritual fulfillment, economic opportunity, cultural expression, Jewish education, social services, political action, and others. Kaplan lays out a detailed vision of his ideal communal organizational structure, down to the amount of annual dues paid by each Jew registered as a member of the overall Jewish community ($1.00).

Topic: Socioeconomic Status, Jewish-Christian Relations, Antisemitism, Communal Responsibility, Culture, Acculturation, Jewish Identity, Interfaith Relations, Assimilation, Communal Organization, Peoplehood, Communism, Economy, Ideology, Economic Development, Modernity, Religion, Identity

Name of Publication: The Jewish Social Service Quarterly

Editor: Bluhm, Solomon

Volume/Issue: Vol.12/no.1

Page Number(s): 50-73

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Kaplan, Mordecai M. The Organization of American Jewry. The Jewish Social Service Quarterly. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA),National Conference of Jewish Social Service. September 1935: 50-73.


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