Days of AweReimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians

Days of AweReimagining Jewishness in Solidarity with Palestinians

Atalia Omer

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780226615912

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Days of Awe examines the stories of the American-Jewish Palestine solidarity movement and Jewish critics of the occupation. Atalia Omer demonstrates that critical resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestinians enables American Jews to reimagine Jewishness from feminist, gender non-conformist, non-white and other Jewish margins. Through the search for solidarity with Palestinians these activists interrogate privilege, grapple with their complicity, and participate in a broader social movement that intersects multiple sites of struggle for liberation. The book illuminates how narratives about identity and conflict can provide sites for resistance and peacebuilding that enable reimagining religious tradition. It examines the multidirectional interrelations between innovation in religious identity and tradition and social protest. Based on extensive participant observation fieldwork and interviews, the book captures how reimagining identity from the grassroots and the margins involves feedback loops between the experiences of ethical outrage and unlearning ideological formations, neither of which is instinctive but rather reflect complex sociological mechanisms and processes often not examined in scholarship on religion and social change. These sociological processes generative of moral shocks also necessitate engaging with and innovating with tradition, histories, memories, and embodied experiences such as those of Mizrahi, Sephardi and Jews of Color. Days of Awe, therefore, employs the resources of religious studies in conversation with social movement theory to develop a more sociologically robust analysis of religion and change.