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We Stand Divided: Competing Visions of Jewishness and the Rift Between American Jews and Israel

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From National Jewish Book Award Winner and author ofIsrael, a bold reevaluation of the tensions between American and Israeli Jews that reimagines the past, present, and future of Jewish life ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Ecco
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Oct 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: judaica
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
Michael Burnam-Fink
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 fair 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
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots and lots of food for thought.
Nov 11, 2019 added it
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
Alan Jay
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: not-owned
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
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Gordis has written a cogent analysis of the world's two largest Jewish communities: the United States and Israel. His analysis begins with Herzl's founding of Zionism and the fact that American Jews viewed Judaism as a religion and Zionist viewed Judaism as a people. There is much to think about in this very readable book - the fact that most American Jews do not know Hebrew well enough to understand traditional Jewish texts or to communicate in Hebrew with their fellow Jews in Israel. ...more
Yossi Khebzou
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book to understand Israeli Jews relationship with American Jews, why that relationship is crumbling and how it wasn't never that good to begin with (he argues that American universalism and liberal democracy were never compatible with Israeli particularism and ethnocentric democracy). He presents well-thought arguments, based on a good deal of research, history and both movements philosophy. The book finalizes with ideas for improving the relationship towards the future and ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Gordis explores the many different points of view of Israeli and American Jews and how far apart they have drifted. Gordis points out that the differences aren’t so much due to the actions of the two but who they are based on the foundational origins of the two states. Americans don’t understand the nature of the state. The problem isn’t what Israel does but what it is.
“For decades, American Jews have assumed that the more Israel emulates the United States the more admirable it will be,”
Peter Eckstein
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
So....I gave it 4 stars because if you care about American Judaism and Israel this is an important book to read, even if you don't agree with his premise. I don't. I think (no spoilers here) his idea that the rift between American Jews and Israel is due to the fact that American Judaism is fundamentally different than Israeli Judaism is too simplistic. But, it's a perspective that is important to understand.
Jenifer Nech
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What can we do to bring us together? Daniel Gordis describes the current divide, the history, and what we can do in the future. I believe it is very important to stay informed and watching television media won't help us.
Eric Barvin
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and important read.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Un livre fascinant pour comprendre les subtilités du sentiment national Juif et la tension entre Israéliens et juifs de diaspora.
Nate Gordon
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Dec 22, 2019
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