Beyond Survival and Philanthropy: American Jewry and Israel

Overview


What will hold American Jewry and Israel together as the traditional “crisis glue” melts down and the familiar and practiced Israeli call for aid retreats to the remote background of each community’s existence? This is the question addressed by participants in a 1996 conference sponsored by the Center for North American Jewry of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Beyond Survival and Philanthropy is a collection of answers ...

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Overview


What will hold American Jewry and Israel together as the traditional “crisis glue” melts down and the familiar and practiced Israeli call for aid retreats to the remote background of each community’s existence? This is the question addressed by participants in a 1996 conference sponsored by the Center for North American Jewry of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Beyond Survival and Philanthropy is a collection of answers to this complex question offered by thirty-one leading Israeli and American scholars, educators, journalists, and communal leaders. They consider the cultural currents that have shifted American Jewish attitudes toward Israel from a mobilization model to a search-for-personal-meaning model and trace the historical roots of present tensions between religious and secular Jews in Israel. The views of Yehezkel Kaufmann, Ahad Ha-Am, and David Ben-Gurion are used to help differentiate between the state of exile, the sense of exile, and the recognition of exile. The place of Israel in American Jewish education and the treatment of American Jewry in Israeli schools is considered, and the backstory of recent efforts to streamline the institutional complex that raises funds for Israel and local needs in American Jewish communities is explored. Speaker of the Knesset Avraham Berg presents his view of how the changing natures of both Zionism and Judaism will affect all Jews in the twenty-first century.

Sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, but always expanding upon these presentations, authors of the response essays in the volume reflect and underscore the values that precipitated this discussion: recognition of the unity of the Jewish people and of the continuing to share diverse views and opinions in order to formulate and address the crucial and sometimes radical choices that confront American Jewry and Israel. Beyond Survival and Philanthropy is a collection of answers to this complex question offered by thirty-one leading Israeli and American scholars, educators, journalists, and communal leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Provocative essays".
—Howard Wachtel, American Jewish History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878200924
  • Publisher: Hebrew Union College Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2014
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Allon Gal is a Professor at the Ben-Gurion Research Center and the Department of History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Director of its Center for North American Jewry.

Alfred Gottschalk (1930-2009) was Distinguished Professor of Bible and Jewish Thought, the John and Marianne Slade Professor of Jewish Intellectual History, and Chancellor Emeritus at HUC-JIR. He was President of JUC-JIR from 1971 to 1995.

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Table of Contents

Preface
New Dimensions
Israel and American Jewry in the Twenty-First Century: A Search for New Relationships 3
Responses 25
Responses 36
Negation of the Exile?
Shlilat Ha-Galut: Past and Present 41
Responses: The Question of Shlilat Ha-Galut in American Zionism 59
Responses: Beyond Zionist Theory: Coming to Terms with the American Jewish Experience 64
The Modern Jewish Kulturkampf
American Jewry and Israel: The Ways of Peace 75
Religious and Secular Jews in Israel: A Cultural War? 88
Responses 109
Responses 116
Teaching and Appreciating the Other
Through a Glass Darkly: Israel in the Mirror of American Jewish Education 123
American Jewry as Reflected in the Secondary School Curriculum in Israel 131
Responses: Readmitting Tensions in Cultivating a Relationship to Israel 150
Responses: Myths and Realities in Teaching Israel 163
Responses: Soul Searching 174
Responses: The Multi-Rootedness of the Israeli Jew 180
American Jewish Institutions and the Jewish State
Can the Center Hold? 187
American Jewish Institutions and Israel 197
Responses 204
Responses 210
Responses 214
A New Agenda
A New Agenda 221
Responses: To Stand Within the Covenant 225
Responses: A Reinvented Jewish Polity in a Globalized World 228
Concluding Thoughts
Bridging Our Differences: An American Perspective 239
An Israeli Perspective 249
Postscript: Liberal Judaism's Interaction with Israel 259
Contributors 262
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