How America's Idealism Drained Its Jews of Their Resilience

In Israel and in traditional communities, life and liturgy don’t run away from hardship. Most American Jews prefer to think on the brighter side, but that comes at a high cost.

Memorial objects outside Pittsburgh’s Tree Of Life Synagogue on August 7, 2019, a year after the synagogue was attacked. Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Memorial objects outside Pittsburgh’s Tree Of Life Synagogue on August 7, 2019, a year after the synagogue was attacked. Jeff Swensen for The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Essay
Oct. 5 2020
About the author

Daniel Gordis is the Koret Distinguished Fellow at Shalem College in Jerusalem and the author, most recently, of We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel.


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More about: American Judaism, History & Ideas, Politics & Current Affairs, Religion & Holidays