A Jew In America: My Life and A People's Struggle for Identity

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9780062517104: A Jew In America: My Life and A People's Struggle for Identity

"I became an American by refusing to assimilate, writes Arthur Hertzberg in this long-awaited memoir. Throughout his life this world-renowned rabbi, activist, author, historian, public servant, and confidante to the powerful has advocated that a true Jew is not an ethnic Jew who makes central his support for Israel or his fight against anti-Semitism, but rather a person deeply tied to the religion and its principles. Hertzberg traces his own self-discovery, confronting the choices he has made and offering a history of American Jews and their struggle for identity.

Undaunted by controversy, Hertzberg has been the moral conscience of American Jews, taking a stand on all the great issues of our time, from the creation of Israel through the Civil Rights movement to the Vietnam War and the highly fractious world of Jews today both here and abroad. Hertzberg is not willing to cede the great tradition either to religious fundamentalists or to the completely secularized. His life is a window onto the forces that have buffeted and strengthened Jews in our times, and his compelling story is an important portrait of the history and culture of the twentieth century, including his dealings with such luminaries as Golda Meir, Martin Luther King Jr., and Henry Kissinger.

This book reflects the richness of the extraordinarily active life of a man of deep knowledge and integrity. Learned in many areas, genuinely interested in other religions, Hertzberg expresses his own faith with a passion and honesty that give his story a singular strength. Written in a clear, engaging style, A Jew in America is a triumph of the human spirit.

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About the Author:

Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg is the Bronfman Visiting Professor of Humanities at New York University and Professor Emeritus of Religion at Dartmouth. A world-renowned Jewish scholar, he has served as president of the American Jewish Policy Foundation and the American Jewish Congress, and as vice-president of the World Jewish Congress.

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