Awak­en­ings: Amer­i­can Jew­ish Transformations

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2021

The Amer­i­can Dias­po­ra needs a new uni­fy­ing vision, as a net­work of indi­vid­u­als har­ness­es Jew­ish tra­di­tion to real­ize the human pow­er for good in an increas­ing­ly com­pli­cat­ed and frac­tured world. We are on the cusp of a Jew­ish awak­en­ing, inspired by Jew­ish prac­tice but open to all. New pos­si­bil­i­ties abound. Lines of lead­er­ship are being redrawn, with cler­gy ced­ing pow­er to a broad­en­ing cohort of Jew­ish pro­fes­sion­als and lay lead­ers. Tech­nol­o­gy is enabling us to explore the pos­si­bil­i­ty of com­mu­ni­ties based on shared inter­ests and val­ues, rather than shared neigh­bor­hoods. On-going efforts could enable plu­ral­ism to over­take denom­i­na­tion­al­ism and cre­ate spaces for peo­ple who range from open-mind­ed ultra-Ortho­dox to hyphen­at­ed het­ero­dox to learn, grow, and explore Jew­ish­ly togeth­er. Israel can engage with the Amer­i­can Dias­po­ra as a respect­ed peer, rather than a vul­ner­a­ble depen­dent. A mul­tira­cial, multi­gen­der, self-actu­al­ized Dias­po­ra awaits us, as we cen­ter human needs and rec­og­nize that our peo­ple can no longer be defined by genet­ics, so much as by con­tin­u­al self-improve­ment through inten­tion­al prac­tice, com­mu­ni­ty, and belief in our high­er purpose.

Discussion Questions