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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Jews for urban justice Schreier, Stephen David


The Jews for Urban Justice is an organization of radical individuals living in the Washington, D.C. area. One of the most striking characteristics of this group is its inability to avoid conflicts with the established Jewish community of Washington. My thesis investigates this phenomenon from the analytical observations of Will Herberg in Protestant, Catholic, Jew. Herberg, writing in the 1950's, indicates that each generation of Jews within North America, changes in its approach to Judaism from preceeding generations. The first generation abandoned Judaism in favor of acceptance by Christian America; the approach of the second generation was secularism, but it "showed the impress of the religion they were abandoning." (Herberg, p.185). The third generation, more secure in its Judaism and Americanness than either of the preceeding two, endeavoured to return to Judaism as a basic tenent of North American life. The fourth generation, including the Jews for Urban Justice, are even more secure in their Americanness, and strive to return even further to more basic principles of Judaism, than other generations. It is at this point that the conflict between JUJ (fourth generation) and the Washington Jewish community (third generation) becomes irreconcilable.

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