Bad Jews: American Jewish Politics & Identities w/ Emily Tamkin & Zoe Strimpel

27 Feb 2023 – 13:30 GMT
Jewish Book Week (online)

Join Bad Jews author and former New Statesman US Editor Emily Tamkin at this year’s Jewish Book Week as she reflects on the complex, conflicting and evolving story of American Jewishness. Emily will be in conversation with fellow journalist and author Zoe Strimpel.

About the book

You can be called a Bad Jew—by the community or even yourself—if you don’t keep kosher, don’t send your children to Hebrew school, or enjoy Christmas music; if your partner isn’t Jewish, or you don’t call your mother enough. But today, amid fears of rising antisemitism, what makes a Good or Bad Jew is a particularly fraught question.

There is no answer, argues Emily Tamkin. Several million now identify as American Jews; but they don’t all identify with one another. American Jewish history, like all Jewish history, has been about transformation—and full of discussions, debates and hand-wringing over who is Jewish, how to be Jewish, and what it means to be Jewish.

Bad Jews is a rich, absorbing reflection on 100 years of American Jewish identities and arguments. Tamkin’s fascinating, diverse interviews explore the complex story of American Jewishness, and its evolving, conflicting positions, from assimilation, race, and social justice; to politics, Zionism, and Israel. She pinpoints the one truth about Jewish identity: It’s always changing.

About the speakers

Emily Tamkin is the former Senior Editor, US, at The New Statesman, based in Washington, DC; and the author of Bad Jews and The Influence of Soros. Previously a foreign affairs staff writer at Foreign Policy and BuzzFeed News, her work has also appeared in The Economist, The New Republic, Politico, Slate and The Washington Post.

Zoe Strimpel is an author, broadcaster and historian of gender in Modern Britain. She is a flagship columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and co-presents Hyped!, a podcast that unpicks the hype around recent cultural products. She is the author of What the Hell Is He Thinking? All the Questions You Ever Asked About Men Answered (2010), The Man Diet: One Woman’s Quest to End Bad Romance (2012) and Seeking Love in Modern Britain: Gender, Dating and the Rise of ‘The Single’ (Bloomsbury, 2020).

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