The Future of American Orthodoxy

An examination of the challenges facing Orthodox Judaism in America

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Taken together, all of these "dilemmas and vulnerabilities" demonstrate that the Orthodox model has not triumphed in America. The question instead is whether Orthodoxy's unexpected rise will be followed by an equally precipitous decline. Such cycles are familiar in religion, just as they are in economics, but they are by no means inevitable. In the end, Orthodoxy's future will actually depend upon its own actions. Will it confront the challenges that it faces, or will it discover only in retrospect that success blinded it to the internal problems that ultimately proved its undoing?

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Jonathan Sarna

Jonathan D. Sarna is the Joseph and Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University.