This piece was posted today on the Reform Judaism Blog (See link below). It is an edited letter from my most recent book Why Israel [and its Future] Matters – Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children and the Millennial Generation with an Afterword by Daniel and David Rosove [my sons] (New Jersey: Ben Yehuda Press, 2019).
My book has been endorsed by a number of Israeli and North American Jewish leaders, including:
“Morally unflinching, intellectually courageous, Rabbi John Rosove has provided us with a desperately needed map for how to navigate the growing tensions between progressives and the state of Israel. By calling out Israel when it has done wrong and calling out its critics when they exaggerate Israel’s flaws, Rabbi Rosove echoes the ancient prophets, who criticized their people but always loved and defended them. This thoughtful and passionate book reminds us that commitment to Israel and to social justice are essential components of a healthy Jewish identity.” –Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem
“Rabbi John Rosove’s letters to his sons, published in this volume, are tender and loving, but also gripping and challenging, as he grapples with modern Israel, Jewish identity, relations between Israelis and Diaspora Jews, and perhaps most significantly whether ‘you can maintain your ethical and moral values while at the same time being supporters of the Jewish state despite its flaws and imperfections.’ Rosove pulls no punches, laying out both the imperfections and the ethical choices surrounding Israel and American Jews. But he also manifests a passionate love for Israel and what one scholar has called ‘values-based aspirational Zionism.’ This book will raise as many questions for Rosove’s sons as it answers; it is a book that many of us wish we had written for our own children.” – Daniel Kurtzer, S. Daniel Abraham Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Former US Ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and US Ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001)
“What a marvelous and refreshing book! A liberal social activist and committed Reform Jew, Rosove makes the case to Jewish millennials that they need Israel as a source of pride, connection, and Jewish renewal, and Israel needs them for the liberal values that they can bring to the Zionist enterprise. In its call for “aspirational Zionism,” the book is honest and tough about Israel’s flaws, but optimistic about the country’s direction and filled with practical strategies for promoting change. This is a no-nonsense, straight-talking work, intellectually rigorous but deeply personal. And most important, it demonstrates in compelling prose to young Jews—and Jews of all ages—that Jewish life cannot be sustained without Israel at its core.” –Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President Emeritus, Union for Reform Judaism
“A moving love letter to Israel from a rabbinic leader who refuses to give into despair, but instead recommits to building a democratic Israel that lives up to the vision of its founders.” –Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Executive Director, Terua: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
“Rabbi Rosove’s truths reach minds and open hearts. I urge each and every individual who feels anyway connected to the Jewish people, to ponder this powerful assemblage of candid, insightful messages which address Israel as a nation, and as a notion. A must read.” -Isaac Herzog, Former Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, President of the State of Israel
The book is available on Amazon.