The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century

By Alan M. Dershowitz

Dershowitz "writes with attribute optimism and audacity" ("The long island instances booklet Review"), during this provocative e-book in regards to the contradictions and quandaries of American-Jewish assimilation.

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I agree neither with these theologians who think that Jewish survival is guaranteed simply because God promised it nor with these demographers who think that Jewish disappearance is inevitable as a result of forces past our keep watch over. i think that our destiny as a humans is basically in our personal palms, and that i are looking to support outline and protect the recent Jewish frame of mind. within the first bankruptcy of this booklet, I concentrate on what's essentially the most whispered-about topic between American Jews this present day: intermarriage and the way to deal with this turning out to be fact. i attempt to deliver this debatable topic out of the closet in all its dimensions. i don't moan and groan and wring my fingers. i don't current a non secular schedule. I discover the difficulty from either a demographic and a private point of view, with a view to are aware of it and take care of it instructively and realistically. My research and conclusions should be debatable and should, i'm hoping, stimulate a debate in the Jewish neighborhood and past. My target is to invite all of the not easy questions, and to supply a large choice of responses as well as my very own. i do know that many readers will disagree with me, yet i am hoping they won't manage to forget about the demanding situations I pose. In chapters 2, three, and four, I boost my thesis that the character of anti-Semitism is altering in primary and demanding methods: Mainstream anti-Semitism—as normally practiced by way of church buildings, states, agencies, universities, and different elite institutions—is coming to an finish; today’s Jew-haters are mostly marginalized and powerless. this modification signifies that even though anti-Semitism persists and needs to remain monitored, it has some distance much less day-by-day impression at the lives of yankee Jews than some time past. therefore we needs to outline our Jewish id in several and extra confident methods than we did long ago. In chapters five, 6, and seven, I discover the main usually proposed recommendations to the matter of assimilation. to people who are yes go back to faith is Judaism’s in basic terms salvation, I say, Get as many to come as you could. perhaps you're correct. yet we can't depend solely in your answer, simply because perhaps you're unsuitable. probably now not adequate Jews turns into non secular. might be religion—at least as presently outlined and practiced—is now not the wave of the longer term for many younger intellectuals. probably there's a strand of Judaism which can live to tell the tale and thrive with no unique dependence on theology and formality. in spite of everything, the Yiddish secularism that flourished among the start of the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskalah) and the second one global warfare was once an actual Jewish tradition, which was once destroyed by means of exterior forces. Political Zionism, which grew mostly out of that tradition, is still an real Jewish civilization of large value to the survival of Judaism. Today’s influential American Jewish neighborhood is basically secular. to people who glance to Israel as Judaism’s sole salvation, I say, preserve attempting to get Jews from in the course of the Diaspora to make aliyah. might be you're correct. yet we can't expect Zionism and aliyah on my own, simply because probably you're fallacious.

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