Adult Education Opening Lecture: “The Jewish American Paradox”

Top Pick September 15, 2019 Newton Free 0
Robert Mnookin (Courtesy photo: Steven Rubin/Simon & Schuster)
Robert Mnookin (Courtesy photo: Steven Rubin/Simon & Schuster)

Kick off a year of adult Jewish learning with Robert Mnookin, author of “The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World.”

Who should count as Jewish in America? What should be the relationship of American Jews to Israel? Can the American Jewish community collectively sustain and pass on to the next generation a sufficient sense of Jewish identity?

The situation of American Jews today is deeply paradoxical. Jews have achieved unprecedented integration, influence and esteem in virtually every facet of American life. But this extraordinarily diverse community now also faces four critical and often divisive challenges: rampant intermarriage, weak religious observance, diminished cohesion in the face of waning anti-Semitism and deeply conflicting views about Israel.

In this thoughtful and perceptive book, Mnookin argues that the answers of the past no longer serve American Jews today. The book boldly promotes a radically inclusive American-Jewish community—one where being Jewish can depend on personal choice and public self-identification, not simply birth or formal religious conversion. Instead of preventing intermarriage or ostracizing those critical of Israel, he envisions a community that embraces diversity and debate, and in so doing, preserves and strengthens the Jewish identity into the next generation and beyond.

Lecture will be followed by Q&A, book signing and refreshments.

Robert Mnookin is an American lawyer, author and the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He focuses largely on dispute resolution, negotiation and arbitration, and was one of the primary co-arbitrators that resolved a seven-year software rights dispute between IBM and Fujitsu in the 1980s.

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Fact Sheet
Sunday, September 15, 2019, 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Temple Emanuel
385 Ward St
Newton, MA 02459

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