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Credit Liebman

Credit Liebman

Steven M. Cohen properly refers to Charles Liebman as “the esteemed social
scientist of contemporary Jewry” (“Lessons Learned From Orthodoxy’s Dramatic Growth,” Dec. 11). He also writes that American Orthodoxy
“has largely shed those who may be considered ‘nominally Orthodox,’ as Samuel
C. Heilman and I termed such Jews back in the 1980s.” In fact, exactly a
half century ago, in 1965, Liebman specifically wrote about the
nominally Orthodox — he used the term — in the long, masterly essay titled
“Orthodoxy in American Jewish Life” that was published in the American Jewish

Liebman and I shared an office at Yeshiva University in 1961, and as far back
as then he referred to both the nominally Orthodox and the marginally
Orthodox in the frequent discussions that we had.


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