Bad Jews: A History of American Jewish Politics and Identities
A virtual author talk with Emily Tamkin
Thursday, Dec. 8th | 7:00 PM ET
Advanced registration required by Weds. Dec. 7th to receive the Zoom link.
Throughout American history, Jewish identities have evolved and transformed in a variety of ways. The issue of what it means, or doesn’t, to be a good Jew or a bad Jew is particularly fraught at this moment, American Jews feel and fear antisemitism is on the rise. There are several million people who identify as American Jews — but that doesn’t mean they all identify with one another. American Jewish history is full of discussions and debates and hand wringing over who is Jewish, how to be Jewish, and what it means to be Jewish.
In Bad Jews, Emily Tamkin examines the last 100 years of American Jewish politics, culture, identities, and arguments. Drawing on over 150 interviews, she tracks the evolution of Jewishness throughout American history, and explores many of the evolving and conflicting Jewish positions on assimilation; race; Zionism and Israel; affluence and poverty, philanthropy, finance, politics; and social justice. From this complex and nuanced history, Tamkin pinpoints perhaps the one truth about American Jewish identity: It is always changing.
The book is available to order from our local partner, Longfellow Books. Limited signed copies are available.