The Future of the Jewish People in Five Photographs by Peter S. Temes

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Threatened by the love of would-be friends as well as the hatred of long-established enemies, the Jewish people face a number of critical questions about the future. What matters more: the number of Jewish people, or the qualities of the Jewish soul? Does asking, “Is it good for the Jews?” diminish the more profound question, “Is it good?” Should the Torah be seen as the unchanging anchor of faith or as a starting place for continual reinvention? Does Judaism hold within it a universal and inclusive ethic?

These questions take on more and more significance as Jewish neighborhoods continue to fade, as Jewish identity melts in the embrace of intermarriage, and as a new generation of American Jews seeks a universal moral vision in a religion built for a people who once stood apart.

Each of the five photographs in this book frames one of these critical questions, generating a dialogue that is as honest and practical as it is spiritual and philosophical. Drawing on history, literature, and his upbringing in the Jewish communities of Brooklyn, Peter S. Temes seeks a new understanding of what it means to be Jewish and what the future holds for the Jewish people. The five photographs at the center of his search hint at the possibilities of that future—possibilities that are at once hopeful and inspiring but also challenging and troubling.


About Peter S. Temes

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Peter S. Temes is head of the Pacific Hills School, West Hollywood, California. A former faculty member at Harvard University, he is the author of many books, including, most recently,The Power of Purpose: Living Well by Doing Good.
Published November 1, 2012 by University of Nebraska Press. 216 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Future of the Jewish People in Five Photographs

Kirkus Reviews

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Illuminating homilies of the Jewish people, by the Jewish people and, particularly, for the Jewish people.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Future of the Jewish Peop...

Publishers Weekly

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Perhaps most disappointing is the sometimes vague nature of Temes’s writing, such as his statement that the Jewish future “will come because of a Jewish toughness that sits in dialogue with Jewish virtue.” Those looking for guidance on the tough questions 21st-century Jews face—for exampl...

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of The Future of the Jewish Peop...

Shelf Awareness

Jacobs in response to winning Book of the Year from Hudson Booksellers for Drop Dead Healthy (see the full list of Hudson's best books of the year below).

Oct 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Future of the Jewish Peop...

ForeWord Reviews

Temes deftly synthesizes his own religious ambivalence—a family and, to some extent, community inheritance that he wonders about bequeathing to his own children—with stories of the faithful adaptations assumed by luminaries of Jewish theology, from Martin Buber to Abraham Heschel.

Nov 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Future of the Jewish Peop...

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