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Change and Stasis: The Ever-Evolving American Synagogue

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/twelve_twelve/article/change_and_stasis_the_ever-evolving_american_synagogue_20110621

Perhaps the single biggest surprise in “The Synagogue in America: A Short History,” by Marc Lee Raphael (New York University Press: $30), is its sheer entertainment value. Raphael, who holds the Nathan Gumenick chair of Judaic studies at the College of William and Mary, has produced a short, highly readable and wholly illuminating study that will delight anyone who has ever sat in shul and told himself the beloved old Jewish joke that ends with the punch line: “To that one, I never go.”

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