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Jews, God, and VideotapeReligion and Media in America$
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Jeffrey Shandler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740675

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740675.001.0001

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Turning on The Eternal Light

Turning on The Eternal Light

(p.56) 2 Turning on The Eternal Light
Jews, God, and Videotape

Jeffrey Shandler

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the involvement of Conservative Judaism in ecumenical broadcasting during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Considered pioneering efforts in public-service radio and television, these broadcasts were especially innovative in their use of drama as a vehicle of Jewish religious culture. These broadcasts became the center of new definitional rituals of listening for a widely dispersed audience of American Jews, in addition to playing a strategic role in redefining the image of Judaism in American public culture during the years following World War II. As such, the rise and fall of these broadcasts sheds light on the dynamics of religious pluralism in twentieth-century America.

Keywords:   Conservative Judaism, ecumenical broadcasting, public-service radio, Jewish religious culture, Judaism, World War II

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