I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl

Front Cover

Being Jewish. What does it mean--today--and for the future? Listen in as Jews of all backgrounds reflect, argue, and imagine.

When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered in Pakistan, many Jews were particularly touched by his last words affirming his Jewish identity. Many were moved to reflect on or analyze their feelings toward their lives as Jews.

The saying "two Jews, three opinions" well reflects the Jewish community's broad range of views on any topic. I Am Jewish captures this richness of interpretation and inspires Jewish people of all backgrounds to reflect upon and take pride in their identity.

Contributions, ranging from major essays to a paragraph or a sentence, come from adults as well as young people in the form of personal feelings, statements of theology, life stories and historical reflections. Despite the diversity, common denominators shine through clearly and distinctly.

Contributors include:
Ehud Barak * Sylvia Boorstein * Edgar M. Bronfman * Alan Colmes * Alan Dershowitz * Kirk Douglas * Richard Dreyfuss * Kitty Dukakis * Dianne Feinstein * Tovah Feldshuh * Debbie Friedman * Milton Friedman * Thomas L. Friedman * Ruth Bader Ginsburg * Nadine Gordimer * David Hartman * Moshe Katsav * Larry King * Francine Klagsbrun * Harold Kushner * Lawrence Kushner * Shia LaBeouf * Norman Lamm * Norman Lear * Julius Lester * Bernard-Henri LÚvy * Bernard Lewis * Daniel Libeskind * Joe Lieberman * Deborah E. Lipstadt * Joshua Malina * Michael Medved * Ruth W. Messinger * Amos Oz * Cynthia Ozick * Shimon Peres * Martin Peretz * Dennis Prager * Anne Roiphe * Sandy Eisenberg Sasso * Vidal Sassoon * Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi * Daniel Schorr * Harold M. Schulweis * Lynn Schusterman * Natan Sharansky * Gary Shteyngart * Sarah Silverman * Michael H. Steinhardt * Kerri Strug * Lawrence H. Summers * Mike Wallace * Elie Wiesel * Leon Wieseltier * Sherwin T. Wine * Ruth R. Wisse * Peter Yarrow * A. B. Yehoshua * Eric H. Yoffie

 

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I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl

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Inspired by the last words of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, the contributors to this volume muse on the phrase "I am Jewish" and seek to answer the question of what it means to be a Jew for ... Read full review

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Daniel Pearl is an amazing individual. This book shows the world how much strength he had as a Jew and how his courage helps us to be proud Jews. Thank you.

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About the author (2005)

Judea and Ruth Pearl , the parents of Daniel Pearl, are cofounders of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.org). The Foundation's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and innovative communications.

Judea and Ruth Pearl , the parents of Daniel Pearl, are cofounders of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.org). The Foundation's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and innovative communications.

Sylvia Boorstein is cofounding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She lectures nationally on Buddhism and mindfulness, and teaches Vipassana and Metta meditation.

Debbie Friedman , the beloved late singer-songwriter, transformed modern Jewish music and was called "the Joan Baez of Jewish song." Her albums have sold over half a million copies, she performed forty to fifty concerts a year worldwide, including performances at Carnegie Hall, and she is subject of the documentary film A Journey of the Spirit . Her fan following continues to be emotional and strong.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been an associate justice of the Supreme Court since 1993.

Nadine Gordimer was born in Gauteng, South Africa on November 20, 1923. She attended the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa for one year. She is a novelist and short-story writer whose major theme is exile and alienation. Her first short story collection, The Soft Voice of the Serpent, was published in 1952 and her first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. Her other short story collections include Jump, Why Haven't You Written: Selected Stories 1950-1972, and Loot. Her other novels include A World of Strangers, A Guest of Honour, Burger's Daughter, July's People, A Sport of Nature, My Son's Story, None to Accompany Me, The Pickup, and Get a Life. She has received numerous awards including the Booker Prize for The Conservationist in 1974, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, and the French Legion of Honour in 2007. She died on July 13, 2014 at the age of 90.

A world-renowned philosopher and social activist, Dr. David Hartman (z"l) is the founder and president emeritus of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Named after his late father, the Institute is dedicated to developing a new understanding of classical Judaism that provides moral and spiritual direction for Judaism's confrontation with modernity.Presently professor emeritus at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he received his rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University's theological seminary in New York City. He is the author of many award-winning books, including A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism (Jewish Lights) and Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest, both winners of the National Jewish Book Award; A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices within Judaism (Jewish Lights), finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"; and Love and Terror in the God Encounter: The Theological Legacy of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (Jewish Lights).

Larry King is the author of Powerful Prayers (Renaissance Books, 1998) and Future Talk (HarperCollins, 1998). He lives in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is one of the most widely read authors by people of all faiths on Jewish spiritual life. He is the best-selling author of such books as Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary; God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know: Finding Self, Spirituality and Ultimate Meaning; Honey from the Rock: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism ; The Book of Letters: A Mystical Hebrew Alphabet ; The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness ; The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk ; Eyes Remade for Wonder: A Lawrence Kushner Reader ; I'm God, You're Not: Observations on Organized Religion and other Disguises of the Ego ; Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Introduction for Christians ; The River of Light: Jewish Mystical Awareness ; The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition ; and co-author of Because Nothing Looks Like God ; How Does God Make Things Happen? ; Where Is God? ; What Does God Look Like? ; and In God's Hands. He is the Emanu-El Scholar at San Francisco's Congregation Emanu-El and an adjunct professor of Jewish mysticism and spirituality at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is available to speak on the following topics: - Jewish Mystical Imagination - Rymanover's Silent Aleph: What Really Happened on Sinai - Zohar on Romance and Revelation - What Makes Kabbalah Kabbalah - Sacred Stories of the Ordinary: When God Makes a Surprise Appearance in Everyday Life Click here to contact the author.

Writer, professor, and photographer Julius Lester was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 27, 1939. He received a B.A. in English from Fisk University in 1960. Lester's photographs from the civil rights movement era have been exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution and are part of Howard University's permanent collection. In addition to having hosted radio and television talk shows in New York City, Lester has also recorded two albums. Lester has published 25 children's books, as well as numerous works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for adults. Translated into eight languages, his books have won the Newbery Honor Medal, the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award. Many of his titles have also been on the New York Times Outstanding Book list and the American Library Association's Notable Book list. Lester has written hundreds of reviews and essays for publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, The New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. After teaching for two years at the New School for Social Research in New York, Lester joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in 1971. He is an award-winning professor in the Judaic and Near Eastern Studies Department and an adjunct professor of History. He has given lectures at over 100 colleges and universities. Lester has five children and lives with his wife and cat in a small Western Massachusetts town.

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