Modern Orthodox Judaism A Documentary History

Categories: , , ,
  • Zev Eleff (author)
  • Jacob J. Schacter (foreword)
Read More and Buy

About the Book

A volume in the JPS Anthologies of Jewish Thought series.

National Jewish Book Award Finalist

Modern Orthodox Judaism offers an extensive selection of primary texts documenting the Orthodox encounter with American Judaism that led to the emergence of the Modern Orthodox movement. Many texts in this volume are drawn from episodes of conflict that helped form Modern Orthodox Judaism. These include the traditionalists’ response to the early expressions of Reform Judaism, as well as incidents that helped define the widening differences between Orthodox and Conservative Judaism in the early twentieth century. Other texts explore the internal struggles to maintain order and balance once Orthodox Judaism had separated itself from other religious movements.

Zev Eleff combines published documents with seldom-seen archival sources in tracing Modern Orthodoxy as it developed into a structured movement, established its own institutions, and encountered critical events and issues—some that helped shape the movement and others that caused tension within it. A general introduction explains the rise of the movement and puts the texts in historical context. Brief introductions to each section guide readers through the documents of this new, dynamic Jewish expression.


This is an original volume with enduring value. . . . Even in fifty to one hundred years, anyone studying Modern Orthodoxy will want to have access to the sources reproduced in this work.
—Adam S. Ferziger, professor and S. R. Hirsch Chair for Research of the Torah with Derekh Erez Movement, Bar-Ilan University, and author of Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism
A pathbreaking documentary history of Modern Orthodoxy in America. There is nothing like it. The documents are well chosen, and many will be new—even to scholars.
—Jonathan D. Sarna, Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University

Dr. Eleff’s volume enables readers to grapple with the complex issues of identity and ideology, religious practice and social behavior, rootedness in tradition and openness to new ways of thinking and acting that define Modern Orthodoxy.

—Jacob J. Schacter, University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University

Zev Eleff

Zev Eleff is the chief academic officer of the Hebrew Theological College, Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of five books, including Living from Convention to Convention: A History of the NCSY, 1954–1980, and editor of Mentor of Generations: Reflections on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He has also authored more than thirty scholarly articles.

Jacob J. Schacter

Jacob J. Schacter is University Professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University, New York.

Book Reviews

Study Guides


Read an Excerpt

Author Blog: A Touchy Subject: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of Orthodox Social Dancing

Mosaic Editor's Pick: How American Orthodoxy Turned Against Social Dancing

Author Blog: Orthodox Economics and the Pre-Day School Time-Crunch

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to JPS News