November 13, 2023

“The Necessity of Exile” by Shaul Magid: An Ayin Press Book Launch

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the launch of Shaul Magid’s new book! The full live event is available to watch above.

About this event

Celebrate the launch of Shaul Magid’s The Necessity of Exile: Essays From a Distance, a new book of essays from “America’s most insightful writer on the relationship between Zionism and Judaism” (Peter Beinart, author of The Crisis of Zionism). This Ayin Press book launch was hosted by Congregation Beth Elohim at the Center for New Jewish Culture, and featured Shaul Magid in conversation with Peter Beinart.

Co-hosted by Jewish Currents, Community Bookstore and the Center for New Jewish Culture

About The Necessity of Exile

What is exile? What is diaspora? What is Zionism? Jewish identity today has been shaped by prior generations’ answers to these questions, and the future of Jewish life will depend on how we respond to them in our own time. In The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance, rabbi and scholar Shaul Magid offers an essential contribution to this intergenerational process, inviting us to rethink our current moment making use of religious and political resources from the Jewish tradition.

On many levels, Zionism was conceived as an attempt to “end the exile” of the Jewish people, both politically and theologically. In a series of incisive essays, Magid challenges us to consider the price of diminishing or even erasing the exilic character of Jewish life. A thought-provoking work of political imagination, The Necessity of Exile reclaims exile as a positive stance for constructive Jewish engagement with Israel|Palestine, antisemitism, diaspora, and a broken world in need of repair.

Read more and order:

About the speakers

Shaul Magid is professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, Kogod Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, senior fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue. Author of numerous books, his most recent prior work is Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical (Princeton University Press, 2021). He is an elected member of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the American Society for the Study of Religion, and lives in Thetford, Vermont.

Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, a MSNBC political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a nonfiction author and former Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of The Crisis of Zionism (Times Books, 2012); The Icarus Syndrome (HarperCollins, 2010); and The Good Fight (HarperCollins, 2006).

About the hosts

Ayin Press is an independent nonprofit publishing house and production studio rooted in Jewish culture and emanating outward. Ayin was founded on a deep belief in the power of culture and creativity to heal, transform, and uplift the world we share and build together. Both online and in print, we seek to celebrate artists and thinkers at the margins and explore the growing edges of collective consciousness through a diverse range of mediums and genres. We are committed to amplifying a polyphony of voices from within and beyond the Jewish world.

The Center for New Jewish Culture is a place for vital, boundary-pushing conversation about what it means to be Jewish. It is a sanctuary for cultural experimentation and ambition, with an emphasis on art, text, food, ritual and new ideas. The Center bridges past and future in its own space in a century-old former synagogue, and it searches for a Jewish way of being that speaks to us now.

Jewish Currents, founded in 1946, is an award-winning magazine committed to the rich tradition of thought, activism, and culture of the Jewish left.