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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Change in Jewish religious life Kogen, David Chaim

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to study the problem of change in Jewish religious life. At the outset, a brief historical review of the development of Jewish religious law is sketched In order to introduce the reader to some of the religious problems which have faced the Jews during the past two centuries. The second chapter outlines the four most important modern approaches to the problem of change: Reform, Neo-Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist. In connection with each of these movements, the reader will find a brief history, explanation of principles, and evaluation. A study of Jewish religious life in Vancouver is presented in the third chapter to show the extent of social change away from the norm of Orthodoxy that has taken place in the Jewish religious life of this community. Wherever possible, comparisons are made with the Jewish community of Minneapolis, one of the few that have been studied, in order to ascertain if Vancouver is typical. In the last chapter certain conclusions are reached about the need for change in Jewish religious life. Conclusions are reached after considering the history of Jewish religious law, the modern attempts to change this law, and the extent to which contemporary Jews observe Jewish religious law.

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