In His Brother's Keeper, Yossi Beilin, Israel's outspoken Minister of Justice, offers a bold prescription for renewing and enriching Jewish life in the twenty-first century. Viewing the status quo as the greatest enemy of the Jewish people, Beilin challenges the notion that there is nothing to be done about the shrinking number of Jews in the world or the growing gap between Israel and the Diaspora communities.
Beilin's approach calls for a new partnership of equals between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. The goal, he explains, is to strengthen Jewish identity now so that future generations will have a viable tradition to pass along to their children. Beilin was the initiator of the Birthright program, which aims to bring thousands of Jewish teenagers on fully subsidized trips to Israel in the hope of awakening within them an interest in learning about their Jewish roots.
Among Beilin's other suggestions for creating a world-wide Jewish community are recognizing "secular conversions" as a point of entry into the Jewish people, radically overhauling existing Jewish institutions and, in a new era of peace, redirecting Israel's historic sense of mission by providing assistance to Third World countries, in cooperation with the Diaspora.
Timely, provocative, powerfully reasoned and argued, His Brother's Keeper will be widely read and passionately debated.
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Published August 22, 2000
Religion & Spirituality.