Congregation Ahavas Achim

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CAA Book Club- "Jew vs. Jew"

Description: When we read Samuel G. Freedman’s book: Jew vs Jew: the Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry last fall, many people were eager to discuss it but had conflicts at the time of the meeting. So, by request, we are revisiting this fascinating book. When it came out 15 years ago, it was an instant bestseller. Its author proposes the idea that, in the latter part of the Twentieth Century, a once mostly united American Jewish Community developed deep and lasting rifts making it hard to function as a community at all.
Freedman is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and he writes this book with a journalist’s eye and style. He makes his points with individual stories of Jewish communities and the strife they encountered: alumni of a Jewish secular summer camp in New York who feel threatened by religiously observant Jews; divisions over how to perform conversions in Denver, Colorado; dissension in an independent minyan in California over gender egalitarianism; a bombing of a Conservative synagogue in Florida stemming from the congregation inviting then Israel Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, to speak. Freedman’s in-depth interviews with people on all sides of these controversies go way beyond the headlines and seriously consider what has changed and is changing in American Jewry.
The book is an easy read. Written in a breezy, journalistic style, it nonetheless raises deep questions about the status and the future of American Jewry. We’ll talk about the issues and see if we agree with Freedman’s theories about how strong these rifts are and how they came about. And we’ll watch excerpts from a lecture Freedman gave recently on “Jew vs. Jew: 15 years later.”
We’ll be discussing the book on April 24th at 7:00 p.m. It’s Pesach, so we will have pesadikka refreshments, including Dale’s famous macaroons.
The CAA Library has several copies of the book. If you didn’t get a chance to read it last time, or if you’d like to refresh your memory, take a copy and leave your name on the sign out sheet.
Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Time: 7:00pm EDT
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2019 8:12pm GMT