We Stand Divided: Competing Visions of Jewishness and the



10 thoughts on “We Stand Divided: Competing Visions of Jewishness and the Rift Between American Jews and Israel

  1. Jon-Erik Jon-Erik says:

    We need a great book on this, but this is not it We need great leadership on this, but Gordis is probably the wrong author and leader He has taken a side, no matter how much he tries to hide it To his credit, he lives those views He moved to Israel and committed to work towards what he believes But we need a book on this divide from an honest broker who can do a better job identifying the give and take that could be productive here Gordis s shift to the right is one that has accelerated be We need a great book on this, but this is not it We need great leadership on this, but Gordis is probably the wrong author and leader He has taken a side, no matter how much he tries to hide it To his credit, he lives those views He moved to Israel and committed to work towards what he believes But we need a book on this divide from an honest broker who can do a better job identifying the give and take that could be productive here Gordis s shift to the right is one that has accelerated beyond most of the rest of us, but we can relate to the pull in a time when the far left, no matter how hard they try to deny it racists always deny it in one forum and trumpet it in another , is become antisemitic But I think he is out of touch with a huge number of American Jews and lumps us all together In my experience, and I believe in polling, most American Jews are pro Israel Indeed, a Gallup Poll from August yes, 2019 found that Jews in the U.S are both highly likely to identify as Democrats and vote for Democratic candidates and to express views that are highly loyal to Israel There is little evidence of a change in these trends, or that this situation creates the kind of Jewish cognitive dissonance that Trump asserts should be the case Indeed, it found that 95% of Jews have favorable views of Israel, while 10% have favorable views of the Palestinian Authority significantlypro Israel than the overall national averages of 71% favorable views of IsraelThe minority that is not doesn t speak for all of us, but in Gordis s book they stand in for us.This book probably should have been a short essay, probably just his last chapter The rest tries to make a point, but it really comes across as Jewish Studies Mad Libs, with a sorting of many historical events to weave a narrative that, for me, is way off of the mark Most bizarre is Gordis s context free use of quotes to make a point Numerous times he uses click baity like quotes from American Rabbis and Jewish leaders from ages past to further his thesis and then talks about the context later without acknowledging how that context affected such public statements.His thesis is that the disconnect is that America and Israel have different purposes He doesn t want to admit that the weight of his argument is that it s American Jews doing the misunderstanding and who want to make Israel in America s image But he only pays lip service to the reverse case, again, probably stemming from his work in Israel and his former role as a non Orthodox Rabbi in the US I don t think it s much of an insight that America and Israel have different purposes I also think he completely misunderstands the reasons behind the growing apart of American Jewry the part of it, anyway, that is and Israelis It has nothing to do with what Reform Rabbis thought in 1920.In other words, there is a complete historical discontinuity during the World War II period with respect to Zionism and people s views about it both because of the Holocaust and the founding of the State of Israel There is probably no one outside of the Chareidim whose views on Israel have anything to do with what their great grandparents views were 100 years ago Yes, there were anti Zionists in the US Yes, American Zionism was different than the people who were actually there But the largest Jewish political organization in Europe 125 years ago, the Bund, was also antizionist It wasn t just Chareidim and Americans Turns out a large number of former Bundists moved to Israel when the facts changed.So, in addition to not particularly feeling this is an even handed look from an honest broker, I also think it s bad history.The fact that Gordis seems to either not understand or misrepresent that before the last few decades, American Jews loyalty to the idea of America came both from a genuine feeling that America was the best home for the Jews in centuries and an ancient practice of trying to fit in The Mishnah says we should pray for the welfare of the government Without explaining why the public statements of American Jews before and immediately after World War II were about fitting in and being accepted, you cannot simply take them at face value It establishes nothing It s also irrelevant due to the intervention of epoch making events.What Gordis and many on the right do not want to accept is a corollary of Peter Beinart s statement that some Jews are leaving their Zionism behind and not their liberalism is that Israel is perceived to have left it s Zionism behind and become right wing In other words, when Israel chose to associate itself with right wing politics in the United States it became difficult for liberal American Jews to defend that On the support side, the Pro Israel side supported the war of choice in Iraq, and almost managed to push President Trump into another unnecessary war in Iran The former cost the so called Pro Israel faction with liberals, Jew and Gentile The so called Pro Israel group also allies itself just for our shared interests, they assure us with the right wing evangelicals who want to water down or eliminate the religious neutrality that has made America such a great home for the Jews Most of us aren t buying that as anything other than a right wing alliance the assertion that it s a pro Israel one is not borne out by words or deeds.But what they failed to oppose or opposed cost themdearly than what they supported, at least until Trump Not opposing the Bush administration after its disastrous effort to lean on Israel to allow the elections that put Hamas in power in Gaza, or even doingthan noting an objection cost them To this day, Israelis point to the disaster of withdrawal from Gaza as a reason not to do the same again But it failed in large part because in order to sustain the demcoracy for the middle east narrative, which was at least the second or third justification for the Iraq War, the Bush administration cravenly forced Israel to allow elections that everyone knew would result in Hamas coming to power When Obama repeated this mistake in Egypt, what little slack he had with the right on this issue evaporated, but cost Bush nothing in their eyes How else should liberal American Jews see that Opposing everything Obama did also cost them Whatever you think of the Iran deal, there was never a clear reason American interests should have opposed it Trump has not faced anything close to the same attacks for calling off a strike on Iran that he had a legitimate reason to launch Obama s attempt at rapprochement with the Arab world after his election was almost required after the war in Iraq, even if he mishandled at first Egypt and Syria He got no benefit of the doubt for those missteps.And then finally, the Israeli public s fawning adoration of Trump has not helped It looks to many American Jews that not only has Israel chosen a side in politics, but that it has chosen to interfere in our politics and diplomacy As much as I agree that American foreign policy cannot be held hostage by the Arab Street and I do believe that the American embassy s move to Jerusalem is trivial and shouldn t concern non Israelis and non Americans at all, for that very reason I think it s a pathetic reason to support a leader who is big on talk and not much else They have chosen to ally themselves with radical Christians in America Netanyahu s son tweets that he prefers fascist Europeans to liberal Jews What are we supposed to think Say nothing lest we appear antizionist Gordis says nothing about this at all.Instead he condemns the paternalistic attitude American Jews allegedly have towards Israel due to our military, diplomatic, and economic support We don t understand their predicament, he says.Sure, but they don t understand ours and apparently neither does Gordis American Jews depend, just like the rabbis of the mishnah, on a healthy government to protect our rights That was the impetus for so many of those pronouncements of a century ago, not some wish to dilute peoplehood, but to survive here We are liberal in spite of our relative wealth and views on foreign policy because our identity is the most salient issue and we oppose the efforts of those they have made bedfellows with the tear down that aspect of the government that protects us for an expedient but myopic alliance The Evangelical Right will not save Israel, but might greatly damage American Jewry.So, we ve been pushed into our corners Sure, some of it is liberal Jews getting carried away with progressive politics and forgetting who they are But Gordis completely elides the fact that even for Jews who have arealistic view of Israel s situation, Israel s actions themselves have made us feel alienated not for being non Zionists, but for not being on the political right At some point, you are tempted to just say, fuck it They don t want us anyways, they ll call us self hating and anti Zionist if we disagree with their right wing politics, even if we do agree on what Zionism literally is Maybe you or I won t feel this way, but those that do are unnecessary losses that must be avoided.If I were writing this book, I would propose that Israeli leaders make it an article of faith to do almost whatever it takes to avoid becoming a partisan issue in the United States The perception that they will have to accept a disastrous peace deal to do so is false In fact, I think the Palestinian issue is barelycritical than the partisan disaster that has unfolded among American Jews and liberals, but especially among Jewish liberals And I think the Jewish character issue is entirely irrelevant to most American Jews Indeed, I think it s a source of support, not opposition I completely 100% disagree with Gordis that liberal American Jews are uncomfortable with Israel having a Jewish character That there are menorahs on the streets during Hanukkah and peace and quiet on shabbat are not the issue This is separate from the Palestinian question Gordis doesn t see that If the Jewish State Law was just about stating the obvious and not dog whistle politics why on earth would it have been done Gordis pretty much proves he is either incapable or unwilling to read between the lines of people s motives Or worse, he is happy to do it in defense of one side and as an attack on the other American Jews do need to understand the reality of Israel s situation I do not part company with Gordis here Gordis s sleight of hand where he inserts left of center Israeli politicians on the Jewish character of Israel for their views on the occupation is completely off the mark, however It should be stated bluntly there is no obvious solution The Palestinians have never said yes to a peace deal It s not clear that the Israeli public would either But to Americans, the occupation is an entirely different question in most people s minds than the Jewish character question, even if the menace of a one state solution is tied up with it in reality American Jews probably naively think there is a win win solution to be had We are not calling en masse for the Establishment Clause in Israel no matter what Gordis seems to allege when he says it makes us uncomfortable It does Citation needed.American Jews do need to stop hand waving away Israel s security concerns and forget the pretension that a Palestinian state will be some kind of Arab Norway It won t We also need to quit thinking that a peace deal will make European antisemites or anyone else suddenly approve of Israel We also need, as Gordis suggests, to improve the Jewish education of our children Camp is great Sunday school is ok, but we could doCamp could be free like birthright instead of 3,000 per kid Qualified teachers could be sent to rural areas paid by for foundations Chabad is a great model to see how this can work, for example I just don t think this should be stated as condescendingly as Gordis does We re not willfully ignorant, we just are taking his later advice on not all being in one place.Israel should also eliminate the Chief Rabbinate s monopoly on Judaism in Israel Again, despite Gordis s shenanigans, this issue has nothing to do with the Jewish character of Israel The government can put menorahs wherever it wants and close whatever it wants on the sabbath Indeed, on the contrary, to be the spiritual homeland of all Jews, legitimizing the way American Jews worship should happen, and now I m not asking for an abolition of an established religion The fact that something like 1 3 of Jews in the world are non Orthodox and many only attend orthodox synagogues and don t practice that way in countries withoutliberal streams ought to be enough We re Jewish enough to emigrate there, Jewish enough to volunteer for the IDF, and Jewish enough to support Israel at the cost of friendships, money, and angst, but not Jewish enough to be married there or for our spouses to convert there and makeJews Awful.These three small steps 1 de partisanizing the actions of the Israeli government, 2 legitimizing conservative and reform judaism in Israel, and 3education about the Israeli security and Judaism in general, situation would go a long way towards healing without having to solve the enigma of the occupation This is a muchgive and take kind of way forward than the thinly masked derision Gordis has for American Jews built up by his shaky thesis that it s down to a misunderstanding of Israel s purpose


  2. Corin Corin says:

    Lots and lots of food for thought.


  3. Michael Burnam-Fink Michael Burnam-Fink says:

    Gordis explores the relationship between American and Israeli Jews through the metaphor of a marriage on the brink of divorce, arguing that both sides need each other The evidence is primarily historical, based on a reading of pro and anti Zionist statements from the 1880s through the 1930s.Some parts of the thesis are fairly incontrovertible Zionism was a major and fraught question in the Jewish community before the foundation of Israel in 1948 And while American Jews have chosen to primaril Gordis explores the relationship between American and Israeli Jews through the metaphor of a marriage on the brink of divorce, arguing that both sides need each other The evidence is primarily historical, based on a reading of pro and anti Zionist statements from the 1880s through the 1930s.Some parts of the thesis are fairly incontrovertible Zionism was a major and fraught question in the Jewish community before the foundation of Israel in 1948 And while American Jews have chosen to primarily assimilate, with the notable exception of Haredi communities, Israel is a proudly, even defiantly Jewish ethnostate, where Hebrew is spoken and Jewish supremacy is enshrined in special law.I believe the origins of the divide, and I don t expect any one person to have the answer to ending it in a short book Israel may be a vibrant Jewish community, but unless I learn Hebrew it s a foreign land and a foreign people Israelis may be thoroughly sick of being hectored by American Jews, but the refusal of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to treat Conservative and Reform Judaism as worthwhile contributions to the faith rankles The ongoing war crimes and genocide of the Palestinian occupation rankles, and the idea that because I am Jewish I am supposed to stay silent in defense of Israeli security is deeply personally offensive.Where it is reasonable to expect a short book to have insight is on somerecent events Gordis talks a lot about long dead pre independence Zionists and the triumph of the Six Day War, but he has almost nothing to say about the politics of the Israeli War for Independence, and the choices in state building made thereafter Events since 1982 and the occupation of Lebanon seem to have passed in a gray blur, for all that the book mentions them Americans are unwilling to live with their own counter insurgencies Is it any surprise that we decline to live another country s Gordis criticism that contemporary American Judaism is practically moribund is spot on, at least in my personal assessment of too many years of Hebrew school leading to a Bar Mitzvah And while Israel may bevigorously alive, it is increasingly isolated diplomatically Both sides can point to history for examples of disaster The First and Second Temple were sacked and destroyed The European country with the most assimilated Jews lead their mass murder.This book is interesting as a history, offer true, if trite insights into contemporary politics, and has no solutions The marriage metaphor is often invoked, but it s also wrong on a basic level, because a marriage is a choice of consenting adults A better metaphor is one of brothers American and Israeli Jews, as a group, are descendants of a European Jewish tradition which was destroyed in the Holocaust Orphaned, the two brothers grew up, and they grew in different directions So what binds them, except for blood


  4. Nicole Nicole says:

    I m not sure what to think It s interesting to think that American Jews and Israelis have had a rift for some time It s also interesting that people on the right can critique Israel, because it s believed they love Israel, but somehow it s not perceived that those on the left love Israel a statement by J Street was called dangerous, I believe You can critique, but you have to show your right wing cred first.I guess I didn t know that American Jews are woefully uneducated Jewishly Also, we I m not sure what to think It s interesting to think that American Jews and Israelis have had a rift for some time It s also interesting that people on the right can critique Israel, because it s believed they love Israel, but somehow it s not perceived that those on the left love Israel a statement by J Street was called dangerous, I believe You can critique, but you have to show your right wing cred first.I guess I didn t know that American Jews are woefully uneducated Jewishly Also, we don t know Hebrew so whatever goes on in Israel can t really be our business since we don t understand the culture On the other hand, we need to love Israel since it s the only element that distinguishes our religion from any other It isn t Tikkun Olam If you listen to the audio, do 1.25 speed Otherwise the reader is much too slow


  5. ShamSham ShamSham says:

    A cogent survey of what lies at the division between American Jewry and Israeli Jewry and a powerful call for greater understanding and collaboration between the two.


  6. Alan Jay Alan Jay says:

    This is the second Daniel Gordis book I have read where I thought his observations are right on the mark however, he offers little in any realistic way to overcome the challenge And yet, I don t think that is a deficiency of the book simply because I don t see any easy path to bridge the divide between Jews in the US and Israelis The first step to overcome the divide is to first understand each other which of course is the purpose of the book.He skillfully addresses the perception of the div This is the second Daniel Gordis book I have read where I thought his observations are right on the mark however, he offers little in any realistic way to overcome the challenge And yet, I don t think that is a deficiency of the book simply because I don t see any easy path to bridge the divide between Jews in the US and Israelis The first step to overcome the divide is to first understand each other which of course is the purpose of the book.He skillfully addresses the perception of the divide through events that are happening Whether it is the issues of the Rabunut, the Kotel, or Politics, the trends between the US and Israel appear to be headed in different directions And yet, these are not the real issues The real issue is there have been divisions from the very beginning and have always been there throughout time Therefore, in order to understand where the two societies diverge, we first have to understand the history.He is hardly the first to focus on the fundamental divide that formed during the early days of Zionism Arthur Herzberg s book, The Zionist Idea clearly lays out the divide in Zionism between Theodore Herzl and Ahad Ha am In his subsequent reissue of the book, in an afterwards, he focuses on the fundamental difference as a challenge between the Jews in North America and Israelis.Since the beginning, Jews in North America saw the Zionist project as one to help those less fortunate living in societies that did not create a safe environment to pursue their religion Whereas Theodore Herzl saw the formation of a Jewish State as the only place where a Jew can be safe and secure Arthur Herzberg labels this the difference between Herzl s Messianic Zionism believing that all Jews one day will emigrate to Israel and Ahad Ha am s view of Israel being the cultural center with spokes radiating to communities all throughout the world The Jews in the US and Canada did not feel threatened thus did not feel the need to emigrate to Israel.This is only the first difference that Daniel Gordis highlights He discusses the liberal view permeating in North America of universal values versus Israel s very particular values of a Jewish State He goes into much depth on the differences in the US liberal democracy versus Israel s ethnic democracy He also dives into the depth of Religion versus Nation He does this in a very thorough way providing a historical view to the present not in his own voice, but bringing in voices since the birth of Zionism to present One of the issues he also highlights, that other Zionist writers throughout the ages have discussed is how the challenge in North America of not learning Hebrew widens the divide between Jews in North America and Israel It is impossible to really embrace and understand the other if you do not have access to their books, newspapers, radio, TV and society As an Oleh Hadash new immigrant to Israel with limited Hebrew skills I can personally attest that my absorption is challenged by my language skills.In conversation with my son, he is a believer that there are today two centers of Jewish culture the US and Israel He points to institutions in the US to prove his point And to a great extend Daniel Gordis agrees with this dipole model of Judaism today However, he does point out the demographics are quickly turning against Jews in the US It is predicted by the 2050 that there will be twice as many Jews in Israel as there will be outside of Israel if the current trends continue So the question becomes does Israel need the diaspora and especially the US Daniel Gordis employs a metaphor of a couple struggling and at the end of the book the obvious question raised is the couple headed for divorce It is obvious to me, and I hope to most, that Israelis need the support for brethren in hutz l aretz, outside the land of Israel for many important reasons It is equally obvious to me having been raised and raising Jewish children in the United States that those outside Israel equally need Israel forreasons that is discussed in the book I view this book not as a beginning because this discussion has been going on for a long time I believe this book is an attempt to restart the dialogue not on the affectations that many focus on believing they are the manifestation of the challenge By focusing on the true root causes we can begin a constructive dialogue of engagement and bridging the divide


  7. Dr. Harold Dr. Harold says:

    Dr Harold Goldmeier is the manager of an investment fund, university teacher, business consultant, speaker and writer who can be reached at Harold.goldmeier gmail.comCountless articles and books address the vexing rift between American Jews and Israel They are short on solutions and long on confirmation bias Daniel Gordis adds another tome to the pile with We Stand Divided, The Rift Between American Jews and Israel, HarperCollins Publishers, 2019 He, too, is short on solutions Nevertheless, Dr Harold Goldmeier is the manager of an investment fund, university teacher, business consultant, speaker and writer who can be reached at Harold.goldmeier gmail.comCountless articles and books address the vexing rift between American Jews and Israel They are short on solutions and long on confirmation bias Daniel Gordis adds another tome to the pile with We Stand Divided, The Rift Between American Jews and Israel, HarperCollins Publishers, 2019 He, too, is short on solutions Nevertheless, his 14th book is receiving plaudits and endorsements from big name pundits and politicians Yet, I find little in the book that adds to my general knowledge of the subject or a solution to his desperate plea opening the Introduction, WHY CAN T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG He ought to know the answer by now after years officiating at the Shalem College in Jerusalem, speaking on the college synagogue Jewish lobby circuit crisscrossing Israel and America, making a mint, debating doubters like Peter Beinart and fellow travelers of J Street Yet, Gordis doesn t off the reader outstanding, why didn t I think of that, answers to heal the rift There is nothing explosive if that s what a book buyer is expecting My goal is to put the big ideas about the relationship into the public sphere, so that we can all engage in a rethinking of why the relationship between the two communities is fraught, deepen the conversation that many in the Jewish world are having about the rift, and even begin to muse on some possible directions for healing the break We are way past musing Just ask my foreign students and my children living overseas Moreover, the new government of Israel has multiple ministries addressing the rift spending billions of shekels There are thousands of overpaid NGO officials with inflated memberships soliciting tons of money and little to show but glittering generalities claiming at lavish fundraising dinners to have the answers I m not going to list the religious, political, and nationalist causes Gordis identifies for the rift They are commonly known to people familiar with the subject The book is interesting because Gordis provides a great deal of novel history and recordations of lesser known interactions between Israel Diaspora advocates and contrarians Suffice to say he spendsthan 200 pages and nearly 250 footnotes on the history of the Jewish people and the rift This is an excellent primer for students new to the subject of Israel and aliyah But you cannot fix the rift with intellectual truths about history, or detailing the threats to Jewish survival in Diaspora Gordis istruthful and a realist than many observers when he offers readers this ominous portent If anything, what is surprising is not that the relationship is wounded, but that it has survived intact for as long as it has Further, unless we find the right answers, darkness may descend on the two Jewish nations of Israel and Diaspora So, Gordis takes a stab at answering the ultimate question, What anyone should actually do He offers six points for healing the rift but I cannot imagine how they will save the Jewish people There is a bit of sunshine on the horizon Diaspora support for Israel is regularly reported on tenterhooks in poll after poll of young Jews A new poll suggests there is a sea change in their views about Israel for the positive, as Diaspora Jews age into their late 30s and 40s This is when Americans trend away from youthful progressive ideas and hook ontoconservative ones Having been a teacher of international gap year students in Israel, I list as the number one rift healer bringing Diaspora Jewish youth and young people of other backgrounds to Israel to see for themselves COVID 19 hit these programs hard Masa high school and college study abroad, yeshiva and seminary programs, Birthright, student exchange programs, are critical in healing the rift Spend money bringing them two and three times to get to know life in Israel Gordis writes a four page advocacy statement in the book for these programs In my experiences, these programs are the most educational and lasting means of building a positive image and attachment to Israel They are the means to realize the dream of Gordis, i.e., The light simply must be ushered in The young people bring the light in their eyes home with them whether they make Aliyah or live overseas Bring them to Israel and make her a light unto the Jews of their nations


  8. Ilana Ilana says:

    Jewish life, history has taught, is exceptionally fragile At times the deadly threats come from the outside At other times rivalries between the Jews themselves have made communities so vulnerable that they fell Either way, the lessons of Jewish history ought to be clear Based on solid historical facts and knowledge of both American and Israeli Judaism, We Stand Divided by Daniel Gordis aims at adding possible directions to the often conflictual conversation between American Jews and Israe Jewish life, history has taught, is exceptionally fragile At times the deadly threats come from the outside At other times rivalries between the Jews themselves have made communities so vulnerable that they fell Either way, the lessons of Jewish history ought to be clear Based on solid historical facts and knowledge of both American and Israeli Judaism, We Stand Divided by Daniel Gordis aims at adding possible directions to the often conflictual conversation between American Jews and Israel In the media stories of the last years originated both in Israel and America, it seems sometimes that there is a conflict without solution But according to Gordis, the seeds of this conflict should be sought after deep into the different evolution of the two countries Plus a deception American Jews were expecting Israel to mirror the American society, which is largely an exaggerated assumption.The biggest merit of We Stand Divided is that it shows the differences in a very clear historical perspective at their core, American and Israel are exceedingly different created for different purposes, they believe in and foster very different sorts of societies with very different values and different visions of Judaism Most specifically, there is a conflict between universalism and particularism that prevails the discourse on Jewish identity and Zionism in general, for almost two centuries For American Jews as liberals, a nation state for a particular people, or a certain religion, is a problematic idea Their discomfort with Israel stems in part from the fact that the idea of a country specifically for the Jews is fundamentally at odds with their universal vision for humanity.Gordis outlines clearly those differences, through the main political and social concepts developed in time, which helps tremendously to understand the full landscape It is, for instance, very important to have in mind that the two communities developed differently in response to different fears were designed to take advantage of different opportunities, developed different strategies for survival, and had at their core profoundly different visions of what and renewed Jewish flourishing would look like.This clarification is made though not to further deepen the rift between American Jews and Israel, but as a first step towards advancing towardspratical and wiser answers to various challenges Maintaining the conflict and the critical attitudes on both sides is counter productive Being able to understand in order to better tailor the community solutions and build the dialogue is a step forward from the current divisions Obviously, it takes time and it will rather start from the very grassroot level, wisely finding what can be done together We Stand Divided by Daniel Gordis is a good reference for anyone looking to better understand the dynamics of American Jewish communities nowadays and their unique relationship with Israel It is also relevant for anyone interested in modern nation building processes and Jewish identity.Disclaimer Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


  9. Gordon Prescott Gordon Prescott says:

    Daniel Gordis has written a brilliantly concise book about Israel and American Jews that attempts to explain how the division has become a wedge issue There is a beautifully written sequence surrounding the Yom Kippur War in 1973 Daniel remembers being in synagogue and the transistor radio that was supposed to be used for the latest baseball update became a lifeline to the onset of the war Scary stuff when you hear orthodox rabbis make statements that reform Jews are worse than holocaust deni Daniel Gordis has written a brilliantly concise book about Israel and American Jews that attempts to explain how the division has become a wedge issue There is a beautifully written sequence surrounding the Yom Kippur War in 1973 Daniel remembers being in synagogue and the transistor radio that was supposed to be used for the latest baseball update became a lifeline to the onset of the war Scary stuff when you hear orthodox rabbis make statements that reform Jews are worse than holocaust deniers, wicked son, or destroying Judaism Shocking to hear that weddings and conversions done by non orthodox rabbis are not recognized by the state The schism between American Jews and Israeli is not about what Israel dose but who is Israel Is it really the center of world Jewry In 1960 the Israeli Knesset found the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann and wanted to try him in Israel American Jews were outraged they wanted him tried in an International tribune Why should Israel speak for all Jews There was an unfounded theory by Zionists that Jews in America were in exile That they should be returning to Israel despite all the freedoms and opportunity that America offered I was shocked about General Patton being antisemitic That surely wasn t addressed in the Oscar winning film in the 1970 s.Gordis proposes various solutions to heal the wounds between American Jews and Israeli Some of the proposals are standard Comparing the riff to divorce and that a temporary separation might work Of course, trying to understand the other side is always a good fall back plan.Anytime you have a complex issue there are no easy resolutions but it s important for American Jews to understand the issues


  10. Sami Frankel Sami Frankel says:

    Gordis makes many strong points in this clearly well researched book The history of the fraught relationship between American Jews and Israelis goes much further back than I realized, and it was fascinating to discover so many elements of that story and the many actors involved I had no idea that so many major American Jewish organizations were not ardent supporters of Israel from the beginning of the state, and Gordis offered incredible evidence that I m not sure where else I would have found Gordis makes many strong points in this clearly well researched book The history of the fraught relationship between American Jews and Israelis goes much further back than I realized, and it was fascinating to discover so many elements of that story and the many actors involved I had no idea that so many major American Jewish organizations were not ardent supporters of Israel from the beginning of the state, and Gordis offered incredible evidence that I m not sure where else I would have found Nevertheless, I did not find Gordis primary argument that American Jews take issue not with what Israel does but with what Israel is as groundbreaking as he seemed to suggest that it was Disappointing as it was to uncover so much information about the seeming distaste for Israel from its very establishment, it is quite evident to me, as a recent graduate from one of the most liberal institutions in the world, that many of those liberal American Jews among us have no interest in productive criticism of Israel, preferring to advocate for a borderless world, starting with the breakdown of Israel s borders at that point, it is clear that Israel has no way to go up, only to cease to exist


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We Stand Divided: Competing Visions of Jewishness and the Rift Between American Jews and Israel From National Jewish Book Award Winner and author of Israel, a bold reevaluation of the tensions between American and Israeli Jews that reimagines the past, present, and future of Jewish life ➼ Classic Essential Vegetables Free ➲ Author Family Circle – Kleankitchen.co.uk a bold reevaluation of the tensions between American and Israeli Jews that reimagines the past ★ The Murder Exchange PDF / Epub ✈ Author Simon Kernick – Kleankitchen.co.uk present [Read] ➵ The Isis Covenant (Jamie Saintclaire, By James Douglas – Kleankitchen.co.uk and future of Jewish life


About the Author: Daniel Gordis

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