Notes for Religious Studies 369:

Introduction to Judaism

Basic Concepts from

Modern Judaism

Judaism in America

Waves of Jewish Immigration

Developments in American Reform

Conservative Judaism

Establishment of Jewish Theological Seminary of America:

For the preservation in America of the knowledge and practice of historical Judaism as ordained in the law of Moses expounded by the prophets and sages in Israel in Biblical and Talmudic writings.

1898-- Break with conservative (Eastern European) Orthodoxy.

1902-- Successful establishment of JTS in New York, financed by established Reform Jews.


Solomon Schechter
Solomon Schechter

Leadership of Solomon Schechter. Faculty included some of the leading Jewish scholars of the world.

Institutional Evolution of Conservative Movement:

Distinguishing features:

Affiliated organizations and institutions:

  • Rabbinical association: Rabbinic Assembly
  • Synagogue federation--national: United Synagogues of America
  • Synagogue federation--international: World Union of Synagogues
  • Youth movement: United Synagogue Youth
  • Women's organization: Women's League
  • Men's organization: Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs
  • Teachers' College
  • Cantorial School
  • Cantors' Assembly
  • Jewish Museum
  • Jerusalem Campus
  • Camp Ramah
  • Solomon Schechter Day Schools
    The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
  • 1950- present: Weakening of observance level of movement membership; widespread liberalization of halakhic standards: dietary laws, sabbath observance, etc.
    More lenient rulings become widespread.
  • Progressive egalitarianism: