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Ideas for Today

Ne’emanut: Placing Relationships at the Center

A Sources Journal Talkback with Mijal Bitton, Daniel May, and Joe Schwartz
Dr. Mijal Bitton is a Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and the Rosh Kehilla (communal leader) and co-founder of the Downtown Minyan in New York City. Mijal received a BA from Yeshiva University and earned her doctorate from New York University, where she conducted an ethnographic study of a Syrian Jewish community with a focus on developing the field of contemporary Sephardic studies in America.  She is an alumna of the

Daniel May

Joe Schwartz

How should American Jews approach their relationship with Israel? Ne’emanut is an ethical orientation proposed by Shalom Hartman Institute Scholar in Residence Mijal Bitton that emphasizes the importance of relationships – over and above ideologies – in shaping moral good. She argues that Ne’emanut should guide the commitments of American Jews to Israel.

Hartman Fellow and Jewish Currents publisher Daniel May and Hartman Rabbinic Fellow and Makom director Joseph Schwartz respond to Bitton’s thesis and interrogate it from different political perspectives. Together, they examined alternate approaches to understand the connections between North American Jews and Israel.

This class is based on Mijal Bitton’s article Ne’emanut: Placing Relationships at the Center in Sources: A Journal of Jewish Ideas from the Shalom Hartman Institute.

This program is part of Ideas for Today, curated courses by Hartman Institute scholars on the big Jewish ideas we need to think better and do better.

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