“Hahn Tapper hopes the book will ‘convey academic ideas in a digestible way’ — for anyone from the casual Jewish reader to the non-Jewish university student taking a course on Judaism. There is plenty in this book that will surprise even many well-read Jews, or recast common knowledge in a new light.”
― J., the Jewish News Weekly
“Using a social psychology approach, Hahn Tapper…invite[s] readers to see their own identities reflected through the lens of what they [a]re reading and discovering about Judaism and the Jewish experience.”
—Renee Ghert-Zand, The Times of Israel ― The Times of Israel
“We’ve all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but the cover images of “Judaisms” alert the reader that this is not your typical course reader on the Jewish religion….This book, which serves both as an easy-to-read text for undergrads as well as a more advanced selection for graduate students (footnotes are available online), articulates that today’s Jewish community is vastly different than the one at the turn of the last century let alone a century ago.”
— Rabbi Jason Miller ― Rabbi With a Blog
“A resounding success in diversifying the picture of Jews and Jewishness.”
― Reading Religion
“A lifelong consumer—as both student and teacher—of ‘Intro. to Judaism’ books, syllabi, activities and bibliographies, I have never found, in a single volume (with excellent online supplements), a resource as rich, intelligible, and thought-provoking as Judaisms. Brilliantly organized, Hahn Tapper manages to make a vast amount of material both succinct and engaging.”
—Rachel Brodie, Senior Educator, Jewish Studio Project; Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Theological Union; former Chief Jewish Officer, JCC of San Francisco; Co-Founder and former Executive Director, Jewish Milestones
“This is a contemporary, up-to-date and forward-looking survey of Jewish history, identity, geography and cultural issues. It is a very comprehensive view that covers all the bases.”
—Michael Twitty, Culinary historian, author, and educator
“Judaisms is just what the world needs: a scholarly and accessible introduction to the multifaceted Judaisms of the 21st century. Aaron Hahn Tapper draws readers in with engaging personal anecdotes and then offers insightful analysis of the narratives, texts, rituals, and communities that comprise Jews and Judaisms, past and present. This book has significantly enhanced my teaching of Introduction to Judaism by sparking rich classroom conversations and increasing students’ understanding. Highly recommended!”
—Sarah Bunin Benor, Associate Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, Hebrew Union College
“Broad in its sweep, sensitive in its explanations of concepts, theories, and ideas, and lucid in its prose, this book makes a passionate and necessary case for the plurality of Jews and Judaisms.”
—Lila Corwin Berman, Murray Friedman Chair of American Jewish History and Director, Feinstein Center for American Jewish History, Temple University
“Aaron Hahn Tapper’s capacious Judaisms: A Twentieth Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities delivers what the title promises. As the plurals in the title suggest, the unifying theme is diversity—its complexity, nuance, and fluidity—an animating 21st century trope. Crafted with the student and classroom in mind, the book is driven by pedagogic passion and insight rendering a wide-range of knotty topics intelligible, accessible, and compelling.”
—Rabbi Bernie Steinberg, Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Theological Union and former Executive Director, Harvard University Hillel
“A crucial guide to the multivocality of Jewish experience and ideology. Required reading for anyone looking for an overview of Judaism and Jews, in all of their diversity and complexity.”
—Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and author of Where Justice Dwells: A Hands-On Guide to Doing Social Justice in Your Jewish Community
“Sweeping and sophisticated, Judaisms challenges our understanding of the Jewish community and weaves a new narrative, which embraces difference, multiplicity, and contestation. I can think of no one in the field more qualified than Aaron Hahn Tapper in exploring issues of Jewish identities.”
—Reza Aslan, author of No god but God and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.
What does it mean to be a Jew in the twenty-first century?
Judaisms explore the multifaceted and intensely complicated characteristics of this age-old, ever-changing community, examining how Jews are culture, ethnicity, nation, nationality, race, religion, and more. With each chapter centered around a single theme (Stories, Sinais, Zions, Messiahs, Laws, Mystics, Cultures, Movements, Genocides, Powers, Boundaries, and Futures), this introductory textbook questions and broadens readers’ understanding of Jewish communities. Written for a new way of teaching—one that recognizes the core role identity-building plays in our lives—this book weaves alternative and marginalized voices to illustrate how Jews have always been reforming their customs, customs, and beliefs. Judaisms is the first book to assess and summarize Jewish history from the time of the Hebrew Bible to today using multiple perspectives.