Whose Israel? Jewish-Americans and the transnational battle for Jewish identity

Yossi Shain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In September 1999, on the eve of the Jewish New Year, members of the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements funded a public campaign on Israel's city billboards and in the Israeli media, calling on secular Israelis to experience their religious identity afresh. In a backlash against the monopoly and religious coercion of religious orthodoxy - which has led many Israelis to shed their religious identities even beyond their socialization to do so by secular Zionism - the campaign called upon Israelis to embrace religious pluralism under the slogan 'there is more than one way to be a Jew'. The campaign, financed by a grant from a Jewish family foundation in San Francisco, met with a harsh and somewhat violent response from the Israeli ultra-Orthodox sector. A leading ultra-Orthodox figure stated: 'If this situation continues, we will have a cultural war here, the likes of which we have not seen in a hundred years'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Politics
Subtitle of host publicationEssays in Honour of David Vital
EditorsAbraham Ben-Zvi, Aharon Klieman
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherFrank Cass Publishers
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781315038896
ISBN (Print)9780714651743
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCass series: Israeli history, politics and society
PublisherFrank Cass publishers
ISSN (Print)1368-4795

RAMBI Publications

  • rambi
  • Jews -- Identity
  • Jews -- United States -- Attitudes toward Israel


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