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American Zionism:
Past, Present, and Future

American Jews have always had a complicated relationship with Zionism, and many contemporary American Jews have become uninterested, ambivalent, or even hostile to modern Israel. In this course, we will explore the reasons why. What events and ideas prompted some American Jews first to reject the Zionist project, then embrace it and, now, cast doubt upon it once again? In tracing this evolution, we will focus on some key moments: from an early proposal to create a Jewish state within America (in upstate New York!), to the famous public spat between American Jewish leaders and David Ben-Gurion, to the establishment of the State of Israel. In doing so, we will consider possible paths forward for Jewish Americans and the Jewish state.