Tag: Humanism

  • Islam and the Problem of Israel: The Romantic Relapse of Europe

    The prognosis of the last paragraph (Chapter III) was the reality on the American scene. Most of the rabbis ministering to the Jews of America were educated in the Reform seminaries of Europe, and the first seminary in America (Cincinnati, Ohio) belonged to the same group. The absence of persecution and of ghettos and the religious freedom guaranteed by the American Constitution promoted acculturation and assimilation of Jewish immigrants from Europe. In America, it was hard to be anything but a Reformed Jew. The voice of orthodoxy, of traditionalism, was certainly present; but it was overwhelmed by the universalism and secularism of American society in the matter of religion. The situation radically changed in the nineties when a wave of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe sent a flood ofjewish immigrants to America. The demography of American Jewry was turned upside down. In a decade, American Jewry became overwhelmingly orthodox and the voice of Reform Judaism became that of a minority. What happened in Russia to bring about this Jewish exodus happened in various degrees in the rest of Europe.