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Creating American Reform JudaismLife and Times of Isaac Mayer Wise$
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Sefton D. Temkin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774457

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774457.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

A New American Jewish World

A New American Jewish World

5. A New American Jewish World
Creating American Reform Judaism

Sefton D. Temkin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows how the battles over the Pittsburgh Platform were being fought over a terrain which other factors were already transforming. Large-scale migration from Eastern Europe had begun. The number of Jews in the United States, estimated at 250,000 in 1880, reached the million mark in 1900, the year of Wise’s death. The acculturated community, speaking English albeit with a German accent, largely middle class, reformed in religion, was outnumbered by one that spoke Yiddish, belonged to the proletariat, and was untouched by Reform Judaism. The processes which Wise saw at work when he arrived in 1846 had to begin over again; but although many of the factors were similar, the answers were not necessarily the same. Incidentally, the presence of a second and larger Jewish community enhanced the importance of New York in American Jewish life and diminished the significance of Cincinnati and other Midwest communities where Wise had held sway.

Keywords:   American Jewry, Pittsburgh Platform, migration, Eastern Europe, Reform Judaism, Jewish community, American Jewish life, New York

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