This second edition of Rabbi David J. Zucker’s American Rabbis: Facts and Fiction (Wipf & Stock) chronicles the role of rabbis in Jewish life, past and present. The author’s unique contribution to the subject is a comparison of how rabbis have been portrayed in fiction – novels, short stories, plays, television, and online streaming – with the realities of this often challenging occupation.
Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan’s foreword to the new edition combined with the foreword to the 1998 edition by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Professor Stanley F. Chyet and the author’s new introduction set the framework for the book’s reader-friendly content.
Rabbi Zucker, a retired congregational rabbi in Great Britain and the U.S., a long-term care chaplain, university professor, and author of several books, articles, and book reviews, discusses a wide range of topics related to the rabbinate and Judaism in general.
In addition to a brief history of the American rabbinate, he provides an update on rabbinic training. He describes the current state of the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements and compares mainstream rabbis to sectarian Orthodox rabbis.