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Conservative Judaism Reading List Introduction

This message is intended to provide readers of soc.culture.jewish with a list of references to allow them to learn more about the current practices, past practices, beliefs, and history of the Conservative Movement with Judaism.

One of the four major movements within Judaism, the Conservative Movement was founded in 1886, with the establishment of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) by a group led by Rabbis Sabato Morais and Marcus Jastrow of Philadelphia and Henry Pereira Mendes of New York. This group was responding to what it felt were the rationalist, antihalakhic excesses of the Reform movement. For its first 15 years, the JTS was a colossal failure. However, around the turn of the century, the JTS was saved and grew into the flagship of a major Jewish denomination thanks to the efforts of three men: its first president, Cyrus Adler; financier Jacob Schiff; and the brilliant Rabbi Solomon Schecter.

In the United States, Israel, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and other countries, the following organizations are involved with Conservative Judaism (Conservative Judaism is called Masorti outside of the United States):

There are many other organizations; a full list may be found on the JTSA web site at

Where Can I Get The Books

[Amazon Associate]The S.C.J Reading List has established an affiliate relationship with Amazon.Com. ( Now you can complete your Conservative Jewish library and support the continued development of the Reading Lists at the same time, for many books on Conservative Judaism are available through Amazon. For those reading this at, you can click the link to the left to browse Amazon's selections. Alternatively, if you enter Amazon using the URL, the reading lists will get credit for your entry. Additionally, when you see the Amazon graphic [If you were at, the graphic would be here] (or "[Buy at Amazon: http:...]") on an entry in the reading list, this indicates that the specific book is available for purchase at Amazon. Click on the graphic/link to go to Amazon and purchase the book.

[Got Questions?]Our goal is to keep this list useful for its readers. To that end, suggestions of books to add to the list are always welcome. In your suggestion, please be as complete as possible; we need author, title, publisher, publishing date, and ISBN number. We also welcome a one paragraph short summary of why the book is of interest. Please send your suggestions to the FAQ maintainer at

The soc.culture.jewish Reading Lists have associations with and Artscroll. The presence of an Amazon ([Buy At Amazon: URL...]) or Artscroll ([Buy at Artscroll: URL...]) tag on a list item means the item is available from the indicated vendor. There is always the possibility that the items status has changed since the tag was added; in particular, items may have moved to special order, backorder, or on-order status. If you have corrections to the tag, or want to provide a synopsis of the book, please drop a note to

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© (c) 1993-2001 Daniel P. Faigin <>