#IsraeliJudaism: Find Your Place

The #IsraeliJudaism project is an initiative of the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI). Its goal is to better understand the emerging identities and main trends of Jewish society in Israel. The project relies on robust public opinion polls as well as source materials, deepening our understanding of the core issues of concern to Jews in Israel.

The project is headed by JPPI Senior Fellow Samuel Rosner and Professor Camil Fuchs (Tel Aviv University), who is responsible for surveys and statistical analysis. JPPI Fellow Noah Slepkov helped with data analysis and was responsible for data visualization.

As part of this project, JPPI published a number of short articles concerning Israel’s holidays and will continue to publish additional articles of this kind later. The main publication of the project is the book #IsraeliJudaism: A Portrait of a Cultural Revolution, published in Hebrew in a collaboration between JPPI and Kinneret-Zamora-Dvir Publishing House, now available in English on Amazon.

This is an excerpt taken from the foreword of book:
This book was written, and the research at its base was conducted, in the State of Israel’s 70th year of independence. Long enough to learn something about the direction Israel is heading; not long enough to know what destination it will reach. Amongst ourselves, the book’s working title was “The Jewish Start-Up,” because at this point in time, Israel is exactly that: a start-up enterprise in the service of the Jewish people. Like any start-up, an innovative concept is at its center—the notion of a future for the Jewish people in a nation-state. Like many start-ups, the concept exists but the product is still in development. It requires further investment and there are many stages of trial and error yet to go. There will still be successes and failures. But there is also great promise. There is a dream. And from time to time, there is excitement for anyone who can briefly raise their eyes and gaze beyond the worries of the day-to-day. Seventy years is a long time for a start-up company, but not for an ancient nation. There is no reason to be surprised that Israel’s culture is experiencing growing pains. There is no reason to be upset that there are arguments, sometimes ferocious ones, over the direction and path the country should take. There is no reason to be impatient—this will take time. We can try to enjoy the journey.

This book will present findings and articulate arguments about the Jews of Israel and their society. Chief among them is the proposition that the buds of a new Jewish culture in Israel are already visible. We shall call it “Israeli Judaism.” This was practically inevitable, of course. Israel was founded in order to bring forth a new Judaism—to produce a culture that would allow Jews to live meaningful Jewish lives in the modern age. And this is exactly what it does — sometimes through careful planning, sometimes through inertia, sometimes by consensus, and sometimes by painful arm-twisting. Israeli Judaism differs in many respects from non-Israeli Judaism. Israeli Judaism also differs in many respects from pre-Israeli Judaism.