Jewish Identity in Modern Israel

Proceedings on Secular Judaism and Democracy

Edited by
Eliezer Schweid, Naftali Rothenberg
PublisherVan Leer Institute Press and Urim Press
Language English
Year of Publication2002
Series Jewish culture and identity Publications

In order to create excitement, one needs a sense of wonder and surprise. Repetition, as rich and beautiful as it may be, elicits boredom. Those who know and love tradition will say that the invariable can also be special. Every Shabbat and holiday can and should be unique. Just as one can never enter the same river twice, one can never celebrate the same holiday twice. Moreover, the regular cycle of events is an invitation to innovative creativity.

Giving voice to the plurality of Israeli opinion, Jewish Identity in Modern Israel is a collection of articles based upon conferences of the Framework for Contemporary Jewish Thought and Identity at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Jewish and Arab contributors, including authors, educators, MK's and Rabbis, address such subjects as Being an Arab Citizen in a Jewish Democratic State, Teaching Judaism to Secular Jews, Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State, and Integration of State Law and Halakha. These articles, published for the first time in English, offer readers the opportunity to grapple with some of the fundamental problems of Israeli identity and citizenship, with the aim of revitalizing Jewish thought and extending dialogue beyond the borders of the Jewish State.

This volume, Jewish Identity in Modern Israel: Proceedings on Secular Judaism and Democracy, is a reflection of the mission of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute's Center for Jewish Culture, established in partnership with the Posen Foundation in the year 2000. The Center for Jewish Culture seeks to serve as an infrastructure to fortify secular Jewish culture among academic and community leaders and Israeli society at large. Included in this goal is the desire to reach out to broader English-speaking Jewish communities throughout the world.

The book can be purchased at the internet site of Urim Publications.


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