Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation

by Carolyn L. Karcher (Editor)

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Overview

Personal narratives by thirty-nine jewish activists and scholars. Today Jews face a choice. We can be loyal to the ethical imperatives at the heart of Judaism—love the stranger, pursue justice, and repair the world. Or we can give our unconditional support to the state of Israel. It is a choice between Judaism as a religion and the nationalist ideology of Zionism, which is usurping that religion In this powerful collection of personal narratives, thirty-nine Jews of diverse backgrounds tell a wide range of stories about the roads they have traveled from a Zionist world view to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build an inclusive society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence. Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism will be controversial. Its contributors welcome the long overdue public debate. They want to demolish stereotypes of dissenting Jews as “self-hating,” traitorous, and anti-Semitic. They want to introduce readers to the large and growing community of Jewish activists who have created organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and Open Hillel. They want to strengthen alliances with progressives of all faiths. Above all, they want to nurture models of Jewish identity that replace ethnic exclusiveness with solidarity, Zionism with a Judaism once again nourished by a transcendent ethical vision. An introduction and afterword by Carolyn L. Karcher set the narratives in historical context. Contributors include: Joel Beinin • Sami Shalom Chetrit • Ilise Benshushan Cohen • Marjorie Cohn • Rabbi and Cantor Michael Davis • Hasia R. Diner • Marjorie N. Feld • Chris Godshall • Ariel Gold • Noah Habeeb • Claris Harbon • Linda Hess • Rabbi Linda Holtzman • Yael Horowitz • Carolyn L. Karcher • Mira Klein • Sydney Levy • Ben Lorber • Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber • Carly Manes • Moriah Ella Mason • Seth Morrison • Eliza Rose Moss-Horwitz • Hilton Obenzinger • Henri Picciotto • Ned Rosch • Rabbi Brant Rosen • Alice Rothchild • Tali Ruskin • Cathy Lisa Schneider • Natalia Dubno Shevin • Ella Shohat • Emily Siegel • Rebecca Subar • Cecilie Surasky • Rebecca Vilkomerson • Rachel Winsberg • Rabbi Alissa Wise • Charlie
Today Jews face a choice. We can be loyal to the ethical imperatives at the heart of Judaism—love the stranger, pursue justice, and repair the world. Or we can give our unconditional support to the state of Israel. It is a choice between Judaism as a religion and the nationalist ideology of Zionism, which is usurping that religion.
In this powerful collection of personal narratives, thirty-nine Jews of diverse backgrounds tell a wide range of stories about the roads they have traveled from a Zionist world view to activism in solidarity with Palestinians and Israelis striving to build an inclusive society founded on justice, equality, and peaceful coexistence.
Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism will be controversial. Its contributors welcome the long overdue public debate. They want to demolish stereotypes of dissenting Jews as “self-hating,” traitorous, and anti-Semitic. They want to introduce readers to the large and growing community of Jewish activists who have created organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and Open Hillel. They want to strengthen alliances with progressives of all faiths. Above all, they want to nurture models of Jewish identity that replace ethnic exclusiveness with solidarity, Zionism with a Judaism once again nourished by a transcendent ethical vision.
An introduction and afterword by Carolyn L. Karcher set the narratives in historical context.

Contributors include: Joel Beinin • Sami Shalom Chetrit • Ilise Benshushan Cohen • Marjorie Cohn • Rabbi and Cantor Michael Davis • Hasia R. Diner • Marjorie N. Feld • Chris Godshall • Ariel Gold • Noah Habeeb • Claris Harbon • Linda Hess • Rabbi Linda Holtzman • Yael Horowitz • Carolyn L. Karcher • Mira Klein • Sydney Levy • Ben Lorber • Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber • Carly Manes • Moriah Ella Mason • Seth Morrison • Eliza Rose Moss-Horwitz • Hilton Obenzinger • Henri Picciotto • Ned Rosch • Rabbi Brant Rosen • Alice Rothchild • Tali Ruskin • Cathy Lisa Schneider • Natalia Dubno Shevin • Ella Shohat • Emily Siegel • Rebecca Subar • Cecilie Surasky • Rebecca Vilkomerson • Rachel Winsberg • Rabbi Alissa Wise • Charlie Wood

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623719142
Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/12/2019
Edition description: 1
Pages: 374
Sales rank: 286,295
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: History of Zionism and And-Zionism from 1880-1948 Carolyn L. Karcher vii

Chapter 1 Rabbinic Voices

Non-Zionism and the New Jewish Diaspora Rabbi Brant Rosen 3

Zionism in My Life Rabbi Linda Holtzman 10

From Zionism in Jerusalem to Diasporism in Chicago Rabbi Michael Davis 16

Chapter 2 Transformative Experiences In Israel/Palestine

Becoming a Jew without Borders Joel Beinin 30

Remembering a Baghdad Elsewhere: An Emotional Cartography Ella Shohat 37

A Mural with No Wall Sami Shalom Chetrit 44

Their Cries I Cannot Forget: How My Investigation of the Yemenite Babies Affair Disillusioned Me with Zionism Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber 49

Coloring the Closets of Transparency: The Endless Struggles of One Feminist Mizrahi Lawyer Claris Karbon 61

Dismantling Zionism: Centering Equality and Justice Ilise Benshushan Cohen 74

X-Ray Glasses Cecilie Surasky 87

Finding Community and the Right Pair of Glasses Emily Siegel 93

Owe Me Nothing Tali Rusktn 106

Not a Birthright, an Obligation Charlie Wood 112

My Jewish Story Ariel Gold 124

From the Tokyo JCC to JVP DC Metro Carolyn L. Karcher 129

From AIPAC to JVP: My Evolution on Zionism and Israel Seth Morrison 141

Chapter 3 Voices From The Campuses

Wrestling with History: My Journey in the Movement for Palestinian Rights Ben Lorber 152

Moving Away from Zionism Yael Horowitz 162

An Epiphany in Slow Motion: Solidarity in Seven Parts Moriah Ella Mason 168

Denial Noah Habeeb 178

I'll Live Where My Feet Are: Imagining My Jewishness with and Beyond the Band Natalia Dubno Shevin 187

From Compost Queen to BDS: Arriving at Anti-Zionism through Environmental Justice Mira Klein 192

Faith, Loss, and Liberation Rachel Winsberg 199

Redefining My Values, Myself, and My Jewish Community Carly Manes 203

Healing Myself, Healing Community Jordan Wilson-Dalzell 208

My Journey from Zionism to Anti-Zionism Chris Godshall 219

To Dream of a lust Jewish Future in a World of Suffering Eliza Rose Moss-Horwitz 228

Chapter 4 Progressive Values Versus Zionism

Choosing a Different Path Alice Rothchild 236

Palestine and My Journey of Self-Discovery Ned Rosch 250

Widening My Field of Vision Rebecca Subar 259

Unlearning Zionism, Learning to Listen to Palestinians Sydney Levy 266

Escape from Zion Hilton Obenzinger 272

Choosing Sides Marjorie N. Feld 284

My Jewish Journey Hasta R. Diner 292

East of Eden and West of Jerusalem: Two Sisters on Opposite Sides of the Israel-Palestine Divide Cathy Lisa Schneider 301

Who Are the Chosen People? Linda Hess 308

A "Nice Jewish Girl" Critiques Israel Marjorie Cohn 325

Chapter 5 Reflections Of Leading Organizers

Zionism versus Anti-Zionism: Not My Main Concern Henri Picciotto 332

"The Discarded Materials Have Become the Cornerstone" Rebecca Vilkomerson Rabbi Alissn Wise 339

Afterword: American Jews' Changing Attitudes toward Israel, 1948-2018 Carolyn L. Karcher 349

Acknowledgements 373

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Anonymous 3 months ago
This is a terrific book. Each chapter was written by a different author and each chapter is very short (generally 5 to 10 pages). The authors range from rabbis to professors to students, but they all have one thing in common - over time, they became disillusioned with Zionism and the way Israel treats Palestinians. Every author started out believing in everything they had been taught (mostly by their fellow Jews) about Israel/Zionism. Their conversions didn't happen overnight, but by the gradual accumulation of knowledge. I happen to totally identify with the process that these writers underwent. I am going to take some slight exception to what these authors wrote. I don't believe that Zionism is necessarily a racist idea and I don't believe that most Zionists came to Palestine to ethnically cleanse this land. The average Zionist came here in the first half of the 20th century in order to escape rampant and often virulent European Christian anti-Semitism. Doing this was not in any way racist, but only a matter of survival. However, while writing what I just wrote, it must also be acknowledged that most Zionist leaders did come to this land with an air of superiority and a plan to "transfer" the Palestinians off of their land. Transfer is just a polite way of saying what they wanted -- ethnic cleansing. The authors never seem to acknowledge that most Zionists weren't interested in harming anyone. They were only looking for a safe place to live. In spite of the paragraph I just wrote, the actual methods carried out by the Zionist leadership and their followers are rightly condemned. What was done to the Palestinians was (and continues to be) a crime against humanity and without Israel acknowledging this, peace will always remain elusive. Reading this book will be a real eye-opener for many people and especially most Jewish people. Knowledge is the first step down the path to peace, but it only gets us so far. Overcoming our tribalism will also be necessary in order to gain any real peace. I wish I knew how to foster that process, but I am at a loss on this important point.