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Prayer & Community

The Havurah in American Judaism

Riv-Ellen Prell

Jewish Studies

Published: February 2018
ISBN: 9780814344460
Pages: 336 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 12 black and white images
Published: February 2018
ISBN: 9780814344477

Riv-Ellen Prell spent eighteen months of participant observation field research studying a countercultural havurah to determine why these groups emerged in the United States during the 1970s. In her book, she explores the central questions posed by the early havurot and their founders. She also examines the havurah as a development of American Judaism, continuing—rather than rejecting—many of the previous generations' ideas about religion. Combining history and ethnography, Prell uses current theories about ritual and prayer to understand men's and women's struggles with their religious tradition and their desire to create community.

Riv-Ellen Prell is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and has published numerous articles in scholarly journals.