Zionism endures as a flashpoint in debates about the history, meaning, and morality of nationalism. Jewish nationalism’s ambiguous position in the study of international relations makes it an ideal case study for understanding the historical and contemporary forces fueling nationalism and debates about the limits of national sovereignty. By focusing on scholarly debates from a [...]
This quarter I am offering a new course that explores contemporary innovations in Jewish Life around the globe.
Although it was the proverbial dark and stormy night, more than 60 people were recently welcomed by congregation president Jessica Dubey toCongregation Kol Shalom’s first Current Jewish Issues Forum on Bainbridge Island.
The speaker was Noam Pianko, chair of the University of Washington’s Samuel and Althea Stroum Jewish studies program. He invited his audience to “rethink the American Jewish-Israel relationship.”
“Myers and Pianko are learned historians and deeply committed Jews who write with their people’s best interests at heart and deserve our careful attention. Both of the have written books that make major contributions to our knowledge yet leave important questions hanging.”
“[The book] is a timely and ambitious attempt to unearth approaches to Zionism that sought to embrace the concept of Jewish nationhood outside of the purely statist model.” —American Jewish Archives Journal (2010, vol 62, No 2)
Pianko said he finds it interesting that Jewish “peoplehood” has become a buzzword. “My working hypothesis is that ‘peoplehood’ has come to be a synonym for support of the State of Israel… We’re trying to hold on to that ‘in’ and ‘out’ boundary.
“The more we’re focused on boundary maintenance, the more alienating it is for the group you’re concerned about,” he said.
During Spring Quarter 2010, SJSP Professor Noam Pianko received a grant to design a new service-learning course on social justice and Judaism. Repair the World, a national non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring young adults to give their time and effort to serve those in need, granted teh funds to Professor Pianko and the SJSP to pilot this new class and format for replication across the country.
The Jewish Week covers a panel I chaired about American Zionsim at last week’s Biennial Scholars’ Conference and discusses how my book fits into a larger context of recent scholarship on Jewish nationalism.