Trending topics: Israel and Jewish identity

Five new books exploring the identity of Israel and what it means to be Jewish

Understanding Zionism: History and Perspectives
By Anne Perez

What exactly does it mean to identify oneself as a Zionist or to call someone else one? It’s a more complicated question than I imagined. Anne Perez, a historian of modern Jewish and Israeli history, believes Christians are obligated to have basic familiarity with the long history and multiple perspectives of the Zionist movement, especially because Christian antisemitism contributed to its formation. Her accessible primer to this enormously complex topic, from its foundations to its possible future directions, maintains balanced commentary while offering valuable historical context. I came away with a clearer understanding of the multiple streams of Zionism and its opposition—inside and outside of Judaism—and a working knowledge of key historical figures, concepts, and events, all of which prepared me to read more deeply on the subject. This would be a great choice for a church reading group or a book club. I was glad I started here before diving into more specialized books on the topic.

Who Are the Jews—and Who Can We Become?
By Donniel Hartman
University of Nebraska Press