WHY BE JEWISH?: INTERMARRIAGE, MEIR KAHANE, AND THE CONTEMPORARY JEWISH DILEMMA
Over the past three decades much has been written about the perilous state of intermarriage in the American Jewish community and what, if anything, can be done about it. In this talk, Shaul Magid will explore an earlier assessment of this dilemma in the writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a radical American rabbi who founded The Jewish Defense League and later a radically right-wing political party in Israel. In the early 1970s Kahane blamed intermarriage on the liberal American Jewish mainstream, claiming it was the natural outgrowth of liberal ideology.
Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington. His latest book is Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity, and the Construction of Modern Judaism (Stanford University Press 2014). His present book project is entitled American Jewish Survivalism: Meir Kahane and the Politics of Pride. He is a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior research fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.