9 Qualities of the 'New Jews'
"By today's cultural standards, the 'New Jew' would look more like vintage Arnold Schwarzenegger than Woody Allen."
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Armed with what he calls “the traditional weapons of the Jews — curiosity, doubt, and humor,” Israeli comedian, television personality, and actor Guri Alfi traveled to the United States to discover the cultural and political influence of the American Jewish community, the variety of alternative models it offers for living a rich Jewish life, and the rifts in relations between U.S. Jews and the State of Israel.
The result was a four-episode TV documentary series called The New Jew, which aired in 2021 on KAN, Israel’s public broadcasting service.
“The most intriguing concept he explores is the idea that Jews in America can be Jewish by choice,” Hannah Brown wrote in The Jerusalem Post, “and what that means for the future of the Jewish people, both in Israel and America.”
As I watched this documentary series and paired it with my own upbringing in Southern California, as well as with dozens of conversations I have had with people in the global Jewish ecosystem, and personal observances of my American, Israeli, French, British, Australian, Argentinian, Brazilian, South African, German, Hungarian, Mexican, Austrian, and Venezuelan Jewish friends, I deciphered this anatomy of the “New Jew.”
Here are nine qualities (i.e. characteristics, viewpoints) that make up the “New Jew” —