Book Size: 6"x 9"

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781623719142

Imprint: Olive Branch Press

Edition: 1

Release date: Spring 2019

Categories: ,

Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism

Stories of Personal Transformation

By

$ 20.00

“Carolyn L. Karcher has superbly edited a fascinating collection of autobiographical essays describing how devout American Jews disentangled themselves from the distortions of Zionism. In the process they recovered their authentic religiously and ethnically framed identities. Required reading for Jews, and engaging reading for everyone.” — Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

About this book

Personal narratives by Forty 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, forty 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.

Contributors include: Joel Beinin • Sami Shalom Chetrit • Ilise Benshushan Cohen • Marjorie Cohn • Rabbi 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 • Jordan Wilson-Dalzell • Rachel Winsberg • Rabbi Alissa Wise • Charlie Wood

Contents:

Introduction: History of Zionism and Anti-Zionism from 1880–1948 by Carolyn L. Karcher

Chapter 1: Rabbinic Voices
Non-Zionism and the New Jewish Diaspora by Rabbi Brant Rosen
Zionism in My Life by Rabbi Linda Holtzman
From Zionism in Jerusalem to Diasporism in Chicago by Rabbi Michael Davis

Chapter 2: Transformative Experiences in Israel/Palestine
Becoming a Jew without Borders by Joel Beinin
Remembering a Baghdad Elsewhere: An Emotional Cartography by Ella Shohat
A Mural with No Wall by Sami Shalom Chetrit
Their Cries I Cannot Forget: How My Investigation of the Yemenite Babies Affair Disillusioned Me with Zionism by Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber
Coloring the Closets of Transparency: The Endless Struggles of One Feminist Mizrahi Lawyer by Claris Harbon
Dismantling Zionism: Centering Equality and Justice by Ilise Benshushan Cohen
X-Ray Glasses by Cecilie Surasky
Finding Community and the Right Pair of Glasses by Emily Siegel
Owe Me Nothing by Tali Ruskin
Not a Birthright, an Obligation by Charlie Wood
My Jewish Story by Ariel Gold
From the Tokyo JCC to JVP DC Metro by Carolyn L. Karcher
From AIPAC to JVP: My Evolution on Zionism and Israel by Seth Morrison

Chapter 3: Voices from the Campuses
Wrestling with History: My Journey in the Movement for Palestinian Rights by Ben Lorber
Moving Away from Zionism by Yael Horowitz
An Epiphany in Slow Motion: Solidarity in Seven Parts by Moriah Ella Mason
Denial by Noah Habeeb
I’ll Live Where My Feet Are: Imagining My Jewishness with and Beyond the Bund by Natalia Dubno Shevin
From Compost Queen to BDS: Arriving at Anti-Zionism through Environmental Justice by Mira Klein
Faith, Loss, and Liberation by Rachel Winsberg
Redefining My Values, Myself, and My Jewish Community by Carly Manes
Healing Myself, Healing Community by Jordan Wilson-Dalzell
My Journey from Zionism to Anti-Zionism by Chris Godshall
To Dream of a Just Jewish Future in a World of Suffering by Eliza Rose Moss-Horwitz

Chapter 4: Progressive Values versus Zionism
Choosing a Different Path by Alice Rothchild
Palestine and My Journey of Self-Discovery by Ned Rosch
Widening My Field of Vision by Rebecca Subar
Unlearning Zionism, Learning to Listen to Palestinians by Sydney Levy
Escape from Zion by Hilton Obenzinger
Choosing Sides by Marjorie N. Feld
My Jewish Journey by Hasia R. Diner
East of Eden and West of Jerusalem: Two Sisters on Opposite Sides of the Israel-Palestine Divide by Cathy Lisa Schneider
Who Are the Chosen People? by Linda Hess
A “Nice Jewish Girl” Critiques Israel by Marjorie Cohn

Chapter 5: Reflections of Leading Organizers
Zionism versus Anti-Zionism: Not My Main Concern by Henri Picciotto
“The Discarded Materials Have Become the Cornerstone” by Rebecca Vilkomerson and Rabbi Alissa Wise

Afterword: American Jews’ Changing Attitudes toward Israel, 1948–2018 by Carolyn L. Karcher

Acknowledgements

Brand:

About the author

Carolyn L. Karcher is professor emerita of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Temple University and the author of many books and articles about the struggle for racial and gender equality in the U.S.

Reviews

“These powerful stories send a message about the resilience and passion of a courageous group of Jews who have come to the realization that the state of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians does not live up to the ethical standards Jewish tradition demands. Taken together, their words challenge the idea that Judaism and Zionism are inseparable. Their commitment to live a Jewish life without Zionism bodes well for the future of Judaism.” — Rebecca T. Alpert, Professor of Religion, Temple University

“Carolyn L. Karcher has superbly edited a fascinating collection of autobiographical essays describing how devout American Jews disentangled themselves from the distortions of Zionism. In the process they recovered their authentic religiously and ethnically framed identities. Required reading for Jews, and engaging reading for everyone.” — Richard Falk, Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University