Jewish Counterculture History Project
Beginning in the 1960s, a generation of young Jews set out to revolutionize and reinvigorate American Judaism. Coming of age in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the creation of the state of Israel, but also amid the revolutionary ferment of the 1960s Civil Rights campaigns, Black Power, and Women’s and Gay Liberation movements, this new generation of well-educated, politically engaged young Jews gave voice and form to new, self-conscious modes of Jewish expression. They were part of a broader Jewish counterculture whose members rejected what they deemed stale forms of Jewish practice in favor of more democratic, egalitarian and spiritually meaningful religious experiences. They created a host of radical innovations in Jewish political, social and religious life that have left a lasting imprint.