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Is the Diaspora Good for the Jews?

An audio recording of a Brookings Institution panel discussion with Yehuda Kurtzer, William Galston, and Alan Wolfe
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Yehuda is a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, on Jewish history and Jewish memory, and on questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda led the creation of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in 2010 as a pioneering research and educational center for the leadership of the North American Jewish community, and teaches in

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In his new book, At Home in Exile: Why Diaspora Is Good for the Jews, Alan Wolfe, professor and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College, asks a controversial and important question: is the Diaspora a blessing in disguise for the Jewish people? For the first time in history, Wolfe argues, Jews can lead successful, meaningful, secure and culturally rich lives in states in which they are a minority. Living outside Israel affords Jews the opportunity to contribute to global diversity, spread pluralism, and deepen Jews’ commitment to fighting prejudice, Wolfe asserts. This book examines those Jews who lead secure and productive lives outside of Israel, which accounts for nearly half of the world’s Jewry.

On November 18, Governance Studies at Brookings Institution hosted a discussion addressing this question and other important issues related to the Diaspora. This event was part of the long-running Governing Ideas book series, which is hosted by William A. Galston, featuring Alan Wolfe and Yehuda Kurtzer .

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