Engaging with Israel through Culture

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“American Jews have begun to define themselves more and more religiously, whilst simultaneously developing less and less interest in having a cultural connection with Israel.  Should we be concerned that they appear to need traditional Torah much more than Amichai’s poetry to fulfill their own spiritual needs?

Philosopher’s Retreat, New York, September 2003)


 Achad Ha’Am conceived of Israel as a Jewish center that will serve to generate the emergence of a vibrant Hebrew culture. Is the reality in Israel today consistent with Achad Ha’Am’s dream? Can you and other North American Jews relate to Israeli literature? Does Israeli culture (and in particular, Israeli literature) play any role in North American Jewish life, specifically in mediating engagements with Israel? These questions and others will be explored further in this session.


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