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The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World

Robert H. Mnookin

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Jewish studies

A renowned Harvard Law School professor examines the challenges to American Jewish identity in the 21st century and shows how it can be enhanced.

Jews in America are in a period of unprecedented status and impact, but for many their identity as Jews--religiously, historically, culturally--is increasingly complicated. Many are becoming Jews without Judaism. It appears success and acceptance will accomplish what even the most virulent anti-Semitism never could---if not the disappearance of Jews themselves, the undermining of what it means to be Jewish.

In this thoughtful, personal, deeply-reasoned book, Robert Mnookin explores the conundrums of Jewish identity, faith and community in America by delving deep into Jewish history, law, and custom. He talks to rabbis, scholars, and other Jews of many perspectives to explore the head, heart, and heritage of Judaism and confronts key challenges in the Jewish debate from the issue of intermarriage to the matter of Israeli policies.

Mnookin shares provocative stories of the ways American Jews have forged (or disavowed) their Jewish identity over the past half-century, including his own to answer the standing question: How can Jews who have different values, perspectives, and relationships with their faith, keep the community open, vibrant, and thriving?

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