American Post-Judaism

Identity and Renewal in a Postethnic Society (Religion in North America)


How do American Jews identify as both Jewish and American? American Post-Judaism argues that Zionism and the Holocaust, two anchors of contemporary American Jewish identity, will no longer be centers of identity formation for future generations of American Jews. Shaul Magid articulates a new, post-ethnic American Jewishness. He discusses pragmatism and spirituality, monotheism and post-monotheism, Jesus, Jewish law, sainthood and self-realization, and the meaning of the Holocaust for those who have never known survivors. Magid presents Jewish Renewal as a movement that takes this radical cultural transition seriously in its strivings for a new era in Jewish thought and practice.


“In every case, Shaul Magid’s point is that the old paradigms for thinking about Jews and Judaism―specifically the ethnically inflected, assimilation-phobic, chosen/one God model―are dead. But all is not lost. He is optimistic that if we redefine the terms of Jewish survival, we will see just how much Jews have gained in these transformations.”
Lila Corwin Berman Temple University

“Magid’s important book is a clear and realistic – albeit incomplete – preliminary analysis of Judaism in America; its achievements; and its crises. It provides a variety of perspectives on the creation of contemporary Jewish society in the U.S…. that provide an accurate portrait of postethnic Judaism.”