Where does the search for New Israeli Jewish identity stand today? How does it relate to American Jewish identity? What is the Israeli-Jewish version of the questions around race, ethnicity, and gender with which our cultural worlds are currently grappling?
Zionism was never just a political project, but a cultural one – to create a new type of Jew. This new Jew would reign sovereign not only on land, but their own life. But the New Jew, borne out of a rejection of diaspora Jewish life , ended up being redefined again and again in Israel by the myriad Diasporas that came to Israel – from North Africa, the Middle East, the USSR, and North America. Indeed, today we are seeing a renaissance of Israeli Jewish cultural identities, but it isn’t exactly what the founders had in mind. Mishael Zion will uncover the most recent innovations in Israeli Jewish Identity through text, music, food, and fashion.
This series is part of Ideas for Today, our yearlong offering of curated courses led by leading scholars addressing the compelling contemporary Jewish issues of the day.