Hope, Not Fear A Path to Jewish Renaissance

Edgar M. Bronfman and Beth Zasloff

St. Martin's Griffin

0312598890

9780312598891

Trade Paperback

240 Pages

$18.99

CAD21.99

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After a lifetime of fighting the persecution of Jews, Edgar M. Bronfman has concluded that what North American Jews need now is hope, not fear. Bronfman urges North American Jewry "to build, not fight. We need to celebrate the joy in Judaism, even as we recognize our responsibility to alleviate suffering and to help heal a broken world. We need to understand Judaism as a multifaceted culture as well as a religion, and explore Jewish literature, music, and art. We need to understand our tradition of debate and questioning, and invite all to enter a conversation about our central texts, rituals, and laws. We need to open our book anew, and re-create a vital Judaism for our time."

Through a reexamination of important texts and through interviews with some of the leading figures in Judaism today, Bronfman outlines a new agenda for the Jewish community in North America that will ensure that Judaism grows and thrives in an open society. He calls for welcome without conditions for intermarried families and disengaged Jews, for a celebration of Jewish diversity, and for openness to innovation and young leadership. Hope, Not Fear is an impassioned plea for all who care about the future of Judaism to cultivate a Jewish practice that is open to the new as it delves into the old, that welcomes many voices, and that reaches out to make the world a better place.

REVIEWS

Praise for Hope, Not Fear

"Edgar M. Bronfman's new, provocative volume is a Jewish leader's personal quest for new answers to timeless questions; it will certainly challenge many readers concerned with Judaism's future."—Elie Wiesel

"Bronfman and Zasloff forcefully show the precariousness of grounding Jewish identity in fear of anti-Semitism and intermarriage; they offer instead an invaluable road map to energizing the range and resonance of Judaism in all of our lives."—Abigail Pogrebin, author of Stars of David

"Serves as an uplifting introduction to the people, institutions, issues, and ideas that promise to reshape the North American Jewish community of the twenty-first century."—Jonathan D. Sarna, Ph.D., Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and author of American Judaism

"This is a brave, honest, painful, and joyous book. Both those who are well versed in Jewish tradition and those who know not an aleph from a bet will find themselves provoked and challenged."—Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ph.D., Director of the Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, Emory University, and author of History on Trial

"A wise book by a Jewish leader who loves Jews and Judaism alike . . . This thoughtful, insightful meditation . . . fills one with a sense of hope about the Jewish future."—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of A Code of Jewish Ethics and Jewish Literacy

"Reading this groundbreaking book will reward you with actual answers to the most pressing questions for the North American Jewish community."—Dara Horn, author of All Other Nights

"Serves as an uplifting introduction to the people, institutions, issues, and ideas that promise to reshape the North American Jewish community of the twenty-first century."—Jonathan D. Sarna, Ph.D., Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History, Brandeis University, and author of American Judaism

"Bronfman's hoping his latest crusade will prove to be bids most important legacy. So keep your eye on him."—Ami Eden, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

"Arguing that a place should be available for everyone who wants to be under the tent is not a new idea, but Bronfman presents this point with vigor and candor . . . Bronfman advises respect for all the individual ways in which people choose to be Jewish and practice their faith." —Stephen Mark Dobbs, J Weekly

"Bronfman has spoken to and learned from a highly diverse group of American Jewish religious and cultural leaders outside the mainstream to fashion a fairly coherent view of what a more vibrant Jewish future might looks like."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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HOPE, NOT FEAR.

Chapter 1

A GOLDEN AGE FOR NORTH AMERICAN JEWRY?

When the great mass of Jews immigrated to the United States and Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they didn't come in order to...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Edgar M. Bronfman and Beth Zasloff

  • Edgar Bronfman is the chairman of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He is also president of the World Jewish Restitution Organization where he succeeded in winning restitution for Holocaust victims whose assets had been held in Swiss banks. He has been recognized for his leadership by organizations, universities and governments around the world.

    Beth Zasloff has been published in JANE magazine and in the anthology Third Mind: Creative Writing Through Visual Art (Teachers and Writers). She has taught writing at New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and in New York City public schools.

  • Edgar M. Bronfman
  • Beth Zasloff
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