Watch: Israeliness IS Jewishness

In Israel, the more traditional Jews are, the more right wing they are, says pollster Prof. Camil Fuchs. But the Jews who are not traditional still feel very Jewish. Their Israeliness connects them with their Jewishness in ways that are only possible in a Jewish state.

Prof. Fuchs is one of the authors of the book: #IsraeliJudaism, Portrait of a Cultural Revolution. He is also the tenth and last guest in the series of conversations about the book we conducted under the auspices of the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI). In fact, this last conversation is between the book’s two authors on the meaning of the text they’ve produced.

In this series of conversations, we’ve had guests whose views on Israel and Judaism vary. We have discussed Israeli traditionalism, nationality, pluralism, ethnicity and more. The first conversation featured Prof. Ruth Gavison and focused on Israeliness and Jewishness. The second, on Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, featured activist and philanthropist Daniel Goldman. In the third, on Israeli secularism, we hosted the historian Prof. Aviad Kleinberg of Tel Aviv University. The fourth featured Dr. Ran Baratz, who spoke about Israeli nationality. The fifth, which featured Dr. Moshe Hellinger, discussed the state of Religious-Zionism. The sixth hosted Prof. Tsvia Walden who spoke about progressive Judaism in Israel. In the seventh, Ben Dror Yemini spoke about Israeli Mizrahi culture. In the eighth, Micha Goodman discussed Israel’s relations with the Jews of America. In the ninth, I spoke about the meaning of Israel as a country of immigrants – like me.

The book #IsraeliJudaism, Portrait of a Cultural Revolution, is based on the work of JPPI, and was coauthored by Shmuel Rosner, a senior fellow at JPPI and Prof. Fuchs of Tel Aviv University. The English version of the book was published recently and provides us with an opportunity to both present the unique nature of Israeli Judaism to the broader world, and to discuss its future and the implications for world Jewry.

We invite TOI readers to try a short questionnaire prepared by Prof. Camil Fuchs. Once you have answered all the questions, you will be able to see where you are on the map of Israeli Judaism and compare yourself to Israeli Jews by political affiliation, religious affiliation, age and ethnicity (for the survey, click here). 

#IsraeliJudaism is a research project of The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), an independent professional policy planning think tank incorporated as a private non-profit company in Israel (founded by JAFI). The mission of the Institute is to contribute to ensuring the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization by engaging in professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world Jewry. Located in Jerusalem, JPPI takes a global approach to the Jewish People and provides decision makers in Israel and the Diaspora with action-oriented policy recommendations.

About the Author
Avinoam Bar-Yosef is the President and the Founding Director of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.
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