Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience

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Notre Dame University Press, 1997 - Church and state - 331 pages

Following a comprehensive historical introduction, Professors Sarna and Dalin present a wide range of primary source materials articulating the different positions held within the American Jewish community on numerous past and present church-state issues: including former state Sunday Laws, or blue laws; dress code variations for Orthodox Jews in the military; kosher food for Jewish prisoners; school prayer; public displays of religious symbols; and whether all religious symbols should be removed from public arenas.

The chapters proceed chronologically, from the colonial period to the present day, giving readers an understanding of the changes that occurred over several centuries.

This book recovers the divergent voices and opinions of the American Jewish community, revealing that one single voice on these issues has never been capable of accommodating the rich variety of positions within the community. By gathering these divergent outlooks in one sourcebook, Sarna and Dalin offer a unique and well-documented look at a major aspect of being Jewish in America.

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The Colonial Era
The New Nation

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About the author (1997)

Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University. The author of numerous books and articles on the Jewish experience, Sarna's work includes The American Jewish Experience: A Reader (1986) and The Jews of Boston (1995), which he wrote with Ellen Smith.

David G. Dalin is a professor of history and politics at Ave Maria University. a. His work includes American Jews and the Separationist Faith: The New Debate on Religion in Public Life (1982) and From Marxism to Judaism: The Collected Essays of Will Herberg (1989).

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