Table of Contents – American Jews


1. Summary

2. Success of Judaism 2.0 in America – American Jews did not need Zionism

(i) Zionism as a “rescue the Jews” – built on misery of the people

(ii) America – first broad experiment of Jewish emancipation & denationalization

-Our crowd vs New immigrants

-Zionism not popular with “Our crowd,” but very popular with immigrants

(iii) Israel established – American Jews still not need Zionism

3. Failure of Judaism 2.0 in American – US Jews now need and depends on Zionism

Failure of denationalization of Judaism

(i)  End of new religion – Judaism without Judea

(ii) End of Jewish glues

-Historical glues holding the Jewish community together

-Replacement American Jewish glues

-The drying of American Jewish glues

(iii) End of Jewish icons

(iv) Judaism low in hierarchy of identities

Failure of previous transition attempts

(i)  Attempted switch of the Old-land and its failure

-Polish Jews were never Polish

(ii) The Reform attempt and its failure

-Failure of Tikun Olam connector

End of Jewish leadership

(i) Wedge between Reform leadership and Reform Jews

(ii) Attempted hijacking of Reform Judaism by Reform leadership

(iii) Passing of the Jewish leaders generation and end of Jewish leadership

End of Jewish capital and Jewish influence

(i) Actual fading of Jewish wealth – hence of Jewish power

-Inter-generational wealth of Jewish families is decentralizing

-Shift in Jewish philanthropy from Jewish to community-wide causes

-Wealth of new American groups is emerging

-Foreign money pouring into previously centers of Jewish power

           (ii) Perceived evaporation of Jewish wealth – hence of Jewish power

-Jews controlling American politics

-Reduced importance of fund-raising

-Historical perception of Jewish wealth helped create Israel

-Information revolution and transparency reduces the exaggerated

perception of Jewish power

(iii) Shift of Jewish wealth from America to Israel

-Tech money

-Real-estate & Diamond money

(iv) End of Jewish influence

4. As a result – American Judaism turning into an American brand

-American Judaism (Judaism 2.0) as an American brand

-Default path: Evaporation of American Jewry

-Evaporation of transformation?


5. New Jewish product offerings: Israel

(i)  From a charity case to desirability

(ii)  Array of Israeli products to connect around

(iii) Non-political connection

(iv) Israelization of American Jewish culture

6. New path to connecting:  The emergence of Cloud-Zionism

Diaspora-Israel relationship redefined

(i)    American Jews historic rejection of Zionism

-Changing wind

(ii)   Zionism’s historic negation of American Judaism – Aliya & Israelization only 

-Historically: Aliya-only – geographical (pressure, guilt)

-Historically: Israelization-only – cultural  (Hebrew Language Brigades)

(iii)  Zionism’s ask redefined and expanded – be a Zionist as you are

-Strong Israeli culture

-Americans in Israel – gateway and beachhead

-Wide range of relationships with the Jewish state

-Vacation-home owners – the new Aliya

-Ahad Ha’Am vs. Herzl again

-But Herzl was a bit Ahad Ha’Am too

7. The New American Jew: Contribution of the Israeli-American

(i) Historically – Our-crowd vs. Ghetto Jew

(ii) Emergence of the Israeli-American

-Our-crowd vs. Taxi-driver

       -The Israeli American brings Israel to the America Jew’s home

(iii) Emergence of Middle-Eastern and Persian American-Jews

8. American Jews in search of an ideal – Zionism!

(i)  Popularity of heritage-identity reflected through Israel not Eastern Europe

(ii) Jews defined by relation to Israel – de-facto

-Birthright is a the primary Jewish experience for many young Jews

9. American Jews in search of non-committal affiliation

(i) Non-committal Judaism 2.0  – impossible

(ii) Non-committal Judaism 3.0 – be who you are


10. The Reform movement to the rescue

(i)  Reform infrastructure irreverent for Reforms but perfect for Judaism 3.0

(ii) “Hostile takeover” of the reform movement?

11. Criticism of Israel is indicative of a Jewish transformation

(i)  Criticism of Israel from unaffiliated Jews

(ii) Criticism of Israel from liberal Jewish leadership

12.Contribution of intermarriage – defines US Jewry and necessitates a transformation

(i)   Intermarriage – the flagship feature of American Judaism

(ii)  Judaism 2.0 “remedies” to intermarriage – failed

(iii) Judaism 3.0 turns intermarriage from foe to friend

-This is not about the Halacha

-This is not about immigration to Israel

(iv) Intermarriage is not assimilation

-Paths to assimilations

-Group assimilation amongst the Jews – contemporary

(v)  Assimilation as enabler of survivability

13. Conclusion: American Jews transforming to Judaism 3.0

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