Yossi Klein Halevi & Rabbi Noa Kushner: Nationhood, Peoplehood, and Belonging In Contemporary Society

At the JFN 2019 International Conference in San Francisco, Yossi Klein Halevi, a leading Israeli writer and analyst, and co-director of Shalom Hartman Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative, discussed the need of the Jewish people to find in its national movement a “third way” between the impulses toward tribalism/ethnocentrism or a multicultural paradigm that demands people shed their particular identities. Rabbi Noa Kushner, Founder of The Kitchen, an independent religious community in San Franciso, spoke to the possibility of another identity and group-building rubric, one centered on Jewish experience, mission and commitment. How do Jews in Israel and the Diaspora alike navigate the perplexity and complexity of these issues as the Jewish people navigate painful differences and seek a common story, a common purpose, and a common identity?