VL: Eugene B. Borowitz: Community, Autonomy, and the Jewish Self

These three sessions will explore the development of the religious thought of Eugene Borowitz, American Reform Judaism’s most significant 20th century theologian. Beginning in session one, with his observations about Jewish ethnicity, peoplehood and God (as described in The Masks Jews Wear: The Self Deceptions of American Jewry, published in 1973 and updated in 1980), we will then explore his understanding of Liberal Jews as autonomous selves (Choosing a Sex Ethic, 1969, A New Jewish Theology in the Making, 1978), and his later development of a post-liberal, covenantal theology and his understanding of what it means to be a “Jewish self” (Renewing the Covenant, 1991).


These readings are posted in the order in which we will be discussing.

The Mask Jews Wear

A New Jewish Theology In The Making

Renewing The Covenant


Background material about Rabbi Borowitz: 

Article: Studies in The Meaning Of Judaism

“The Mask Jews Wear: Eugene Borowitz on Jewish Peoplehood, Ethnicity, and God”
Audio discussion by Ellen Umansky, October 15th, 2016:


“Autonomy and Tradition”. Audio discussion by Ellen Umansky, October 22nd, 2016:


The Covenanted Self, Audio discussion by Ellen Umansky, October 29th, 2016

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