At Home in Exile: Why Dias­po­ra is Good for the Jews

Alan Wolfe
  • Review
By – May 22, 2015

It has long been assumed by the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in the mod­ern world mod­el that Israel is front and cen­ter — that Israel has a pri­ma­ry and essen­tial role in the com­mu­ni­ty and that Jew­ish life and Jew­ish pri­or­i­ties should reflect that role.

In At Home in Exile Alan Wolfe chal­lenges this main­stream approach. He is respect­ful and elo­quent, but his point is clear: Israel is impor­tant, but the Dias­po­ra is also impor­tant, and liv­ing out­side of Israel should be val­ued and praised.

There is, Wolfe main­tains, a long his­to­ry of great cre­ativ­i­ty in the Dias­po­ra, and there is much that Jews out in the wider world have to offer to the world as the peo­ple they are — con­tri­bu­tions that can­not be made in Israel.

Wolfe writes beau­ti­ful­ly. His argu­ments are well con­struct­ed. He weaves togeth­er a sto­ry and his points are eas­i­ly under­stood. Even if one dis­agrees with his premise, the read­er can­not deny that the points Wolfe is mak­ing are cogent and need to be addressed.

Alan Wolfe is nei­ther anti-Israel nor anti-Zion­ist. He is advo­cat­ing for cre­ative Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ties out­side of Israel. He wants to empha­size that Dias­po­ra Jew­ry, a full half of the Jew­ish world, are (as they must be) play­ers on the stage of Jew­ish life, cul­ture, and creativity.

Relat­ed Content:

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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