Veneration and Critique: Israel, the Sociology of American Judaism and the Problematics of Sovereignty

2016. In Jewish Studies Quarterly 23, 194–221. Both the erosion of state sovereignty and the conceptual reassessments that have emerged in response to this erosion provide the context for this consideration of American Jewish religious engagement with the State of Israel. Theorizations of sovereignty can be helpful for thinking about the relationship between American Judaism…

Posted by on October 18, 2018 in Articles, Research, , , ,

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Drink Prey Lust

Wexner Foundation Blog, March 15, 2016. Purim is a festival of inversion, a time when the lowly are honored, the esteemed are mocked, the serious is parodied, and the forbidden is — for a moment — permissible.  By turning things upside down for a day, Purim reaffirms what right-side-up should look like. It is only…

Posted by on March 15, 2016 in Media, , ,

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Reshaping the World Through Vision, Activism, Ideas and Initiative (Not Demography)

Wexner Foundation Blog, May 22, 2014 I have now seen several rounds of brouhaha over Jewish population surveys: 1990, 2001, and now Pew 2013. One would think that the conversation would advance each decade. This is social science after all; time marches on and we build our knowledge cumulatively, on the shoulders of giants as…

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Media, ,

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Religious Ambivalence in Jewish American Philanthropy

2013. In this chapter, I consider Jewish philanthropic federations, and their ambivalent relationship to Jewish religion from the 19th century to the present. I attempt to show that much of this ambivalence stems from the fact that these philanthropic institutions understand themselves not only to be agents of voluntary action for the public good but…

Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Articles, Chapters, Research, , , , , ,


Review of Engaged Spirituality

Review of Gregory Stanczak’s Engaged Spirituality: Social Change and American Religion (Rutgers University Press, 2006) 2008. International Review of Modern Sociology 34(1):144-6 From the review: “When a book subtitled How Religion Poisons Everything nears the top of the best-seller lists, as Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great has, it is but one more indication that…

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Research, Reviews, ,