This essay argues that Reconstructionist Judaism, though first and foremost a Jewish movement, was profoundly influenced by quintessentially American ideals, values, and figures that shaped the denomination’s foundations. In doing so, the paper pays special attention to Reconstructionism’s founder, Mordechai Kaplan, delving into his personal history as well as relevant European Jewish history to contextualize his ideas. Additionally, this essay explores modernity as it applied to early and mid-twentieth century American Jewish life and what that meant to the practice and evolution of the Jewish faith.
Seth Schoenhaus '18 is from Albany, NY and received his BA in Religion with a Political Science minor from Denison University.
Denison Journal of Religion: Vol. 17, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.denison.edu/religion/vol17/iss1/7