A Dream of Zion

  • Review
By – March 2, 2012
A chal­lenge for younger Jew­ish gen­er­a­tions is that of craft­ing a rela­tion­ship with Israel, while hav­ing lived only dur­ing peri­ods of Israel’s rel­a­tive well-being. Unlike those of us who came of age either at the time of Israel’s inde­pen­dence, or in the peri­ods of the Six Day War or Yom Kip­pur War, a gen­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Jews has no mem­o­ry of the halutz peri­od nor of the mirac­u­lous” Israeli mil­i­tary vic­to­ries against all odds. How then does one build a con­cep­tion of what Israel means and how s/​he wish­es to relate to it? This is the chal­lenge that A Dream of Zion rais­es and address­es. In its pages, over 100 Jew­ish lead­ers, most­ly present lead­ers, but also some from past gen­er­a­tions, address the impor­tance of Israel to them. There is an attempt to rep­re­sent a vari­ety of back­grounds and ages. Includ­ed are politi­cians, rab­bis, artists, actors, philoso­phers, aca­d­e­mi­cians, stu­dents, phil­an­thropists. Mod­eled delib­er­ate­ly after Jew­ish Lights’ suc­cess­ful and thought­ful I am Jew­ish, which brought togeth­er essays and writ­ings about the mean­ing of being Jew­ish, this book is a use­ful tool for dis­cus­sion groups, and adult learn­ing, as well as gen­er­al read­ing by those seek­ing to define their own rela­tion­ship with Israel.
Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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