After Seventy Years, Israeli Judaism Is Settling In and Getting Comfortable

The famous “new Jew” of Zionist lore is finally here: a dynamic blend of modern and traditionalist, nationalist and cosmopolitan. So an ambitious new book argues.

July 10, 2019 | Ari Hoffman
About the author: Ari Hoffman, a student at Stanford Law School, holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Harvard and writes widely on literature, politics, and culture. His first book, This Year in Jerusalem: The Israel Novel and Why it Matters, is forthcoming from SUNY Press.

Young Israeli Jews sing at a Havdalah ceremony in Tel Aviv on October 24, 2015. Miriam Alster/FLASH90.

What has Zionism achieved? Like all revolutionaries, the early Zionists understood that in the new world they intended to create, a new kind of person would be required—in their case, a new kind of Jew, one not only speaking a new-old language in a new-old land but forging, or re-forging, a new-old identity.

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