Are We One? by Jerold S. Auerbach
Jewish Identity in the United States and Israel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



What binds together Jews of Israel and the United States? Amid the hope and frustration generated by the Middle East peace process, the meaning of Jewish statehood is more vigorously contested than ever before. A secular democratic Israel, responsive to Western liberal values, is prepared to make peace with the Palestinians by sacrificing its own historic homeland. But a covenantal Israel, which draws its Jewish identity from divine promise and the biblical narrative, refuses to surrender to modern imperatives. As the very nature of Jewish statehood has become ever more polarized, American Jewish life has been profoundly affected by this fateful Zionist contradiction.

In Are We One? Jerold S. Auerbach presents a surprising new interpretation of this contemporary Jewish dilemma. The modern Jewish impulse to embrace Western values, he writes, exacts a terrible price. He offers a critical reassessment of Zionism, a challenging analysis of the sources of the identification of American Jews with Israel—and a gloomy prognosis of the future of Jewish life, both in Israel and the United States.

In a ringing indictment that is sure to spark controversy, he states that the eagerness of secular Israelis to import American culture reflects their sweeping rejection of Jewish and Zionist values. Indeed, the diminishing number of Israelis who actually remain faithful to Jewish religious and historical imperatives are denigrated as fundamentalist zealots by Israeli and American Jews alike. Present-day Israel now exhibits such Jewish self-loathing, he states, that it has depleted its own ability to inspire world Jewry.

In a groundbreaking book that draws upon original historical analysis and extensive personal experience in Israel, Auerbach invites readers to consider the debilitating consequences of an adulterated Jewish identity in Israel and in the United States for the very future of Judaism.


About Jerold S. Auerbach

See more books from this Author
Jerold S. Auerbach was born in Philadelphia on May 7, 1936. After graduating from Oberlin College, he entered Columbia Law School in the hopes of becoming a civil liberties lawyer. However, he quickly became disenchanted with the legal system and left the legal profession to pursue a career in history. He became a professor of history at Wellesley College. Auerbach's experiences with the law greatly influenced his writing. Through such works as Unequal Justice and Justice Without Law, he explored the darker side of the legal profession and struggled to understand and interpret law as it pertained to American society. His Jewish background also influenced his writing and provided us with such works as Rabbis and Lawyers and Jacob's Voices: Reflections of a Wandering American Jew, the latter an autobiographical work.
Published May 1, 2001 by Rutgers University Press. 264 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Are We One?

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

After spending a sabbatical year in Israel, Wellesley College historian Auerbach (Rabbis and Lawyers), once a "comfortably assimilated Diaspora Jew," became smitten by the country and newly engaged in classic questions of identity: was he an American Jew, or a Jewish American?

| Read Full Review of Are We One?: Jewish Identity ...

Project MUSE

As long as Israel could be interpreted as the embodiment of American liberal values, American Jews could support Israel.

| Read Full Review of Are We One?: Jewish Identity ...

Rate this book!

Add Review