About the Book
Foreword by Jacob K. Shankman
New introduction by Howard A. Berman
New epilogue by David Ellenson
With select documents, 1975-2008
This fiftieth anniversary edition of W. Gunther Plaut’s classic second volume on the history of the Jewish Reform Movement is a sourcebook of the original writings that shaped the second century of organized Liberal Judaism. The Growth of Reform Judaism features a new introduction, a new epilogue, and important additional primary sources documenting the profound changes of the last fifty years. View first volume, The Rise of Reform Judaism.
Although the emphasis in this volume is chiefly on the American scene, where the movement had its most notable advances, selections of representative Liberal Jewish thought in Europe and to a lesser degree in Israel are included as well. These selections help us to understand the emergence and character, problems and tensions of Reform Judaism as it developed and grew in modern times. In addition to the primary texts new to this edition, David Ellenson’s epilogue considers the developments of the last fifty years that have continued to shape the course of Reform Judaism.
The work of Rabbi Plaut is not only crucial for an understanding of Reform Judaism; it is also indispensable for grasping the development and history of Judaism in the modern world.
—Rabbi David Ellenson, chancellor and past president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion