“For most Israeli Jews, when they are not in a reflective mode, Israeliness and Jewishness go together,” says Prof. Ruth Gavison, a leading Israeli scholar and public intellectual. According to findings of surveys conducted by The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), a majority of Jewish Israelis believe that “to be real Israeli you must be Jewish” — a situation that creates “many complications,” as Prof. Gavison says. It complicates the relations of Israeli Jews and Israeli non-Jews, as well as the relations between Israeli Jews and non-Israeli Jews around the world.
This dialogue with Gavison is the first in a series of conversations conducted with Israeli intellectuals, to discuss the findings and the analysis presented in a new book: #IsraeliJudaism, Portrait of a Cultural Revolution. This book is based on the work of JPPI, and was coauthored by Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow at JPPI and Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University. The English version came out recently and provides us with an opportunity to both present the unique nature of Israeli Judaism to the broader world, and to discuss its future and the implications for world Jewry.
The discussion with Prof. Gavison focuses on Israeliness and Jewishness.