In response to Allan Arkush’s summer 2018 cover article on Jews in the American melting pot, an impassioned and unsparing assessment of the future of American Jewry, four leading thinkers weigh in:
- Jack Wertheimer—whose book, The New American Judaism (Princeton, 2018), was the occasion for Arkush’s essay—furnishes the first reply, arguing that Jewish assimilation is not an inexorable process.
- David Biale, a distinguished UC Davis professor of Jewish history, revisits his own provocative 1998 essay, at which Arkush took aim.
- Edieal Pinker, a Yale professor of operations research (and deputy dean in its School of Management) offers a fresh statistical analysis of the 2013 Pew study of the U.S. Jewish community.
- Erica Brown, an award-winning educator and author of 12 books on Bible, Jewish leadership, and more writes: “On the bottom of the pot live Jewish clichés, nostalgia, kitchy-ness, and an uninformed Jewish pride.”
Finally, Allan Arkush responds to his critics.
The flaw Ethan B. Katz’s and Maud S. Mandel’s analysis of the position of Jews in France is that “they view the anti-Semitic violence we Jews are living through here in France through American-made binoculars,” says Shmuel Trigano.
In 1935, Israel Chipkin wrote that day schools were “financially prohibitive” for most Jews. The more things change . . .
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To live in Vienna as a Jew is also to be reminded that those who perpetrated the Shoah were defeated yet, unlike the victims, were able to resume their lives afterwards.