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.
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Meet the Instructor
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College and Campus Bureau Editor of The Algemeiner. In addition to his academic work, he has authored several philosophy books for the general reader and two novels, including, most recently, The Irrationalist, an historical murder mystery based on the tragic life and mysterious death of the famous philosopher René Descartes. His co-edited book, Anti-Zionism on Campus: The University, Free Speech, and BDS, was published in 2018 by Indiana University Press. More information about him and his work may be found at www.andrewpessin.com.