2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Faith and Identity: The Effects of the Holocaust on American Judaism in the Post-World War II Era
Carolyn M. Kirchhoff
Dr.  Dereck Daschke, Faculty Mentor

The Holocaust is undoubtedly one of the most defining events in the history of Judaism. The ripples of this tragedy were deeply felt throughout its European context, but how did the events of the Holocaust affect American Jewry? In this paper, I discuss post-World War II American Judaism— how the Holocaust affected the changes in Jewish American religious practice and identity, and how these patterns are expressed today. I evaluate the shift from orthodoxy to less traditional forms of Judaism, sociocultural changes, and the incorporation of Holocaust survivors into American Jewry that took place during this post-war period. Through critical analysis of historical trends and changes, socioeconomic data, and first-hand accounts of Holocaust survivors, I create an image of the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements as they existed within post-war American Judaism, and offer insight into the ways in which the Holocaust affected the makeup of these “denominations.”

Keywords: Judaism, Holocaust , Religion , America , Post-World War II

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -1
Location: MG 2050
Time: 9:30

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