As each decade passes, the Holocaust retreats in time and grows in memory and this is not a linear process – some years count more than others. This episode looks at American Jewry’s relationship to the Shoah before and after the Six Day War and adds an important piece for understanding how Israel and Auschwitz became twin pillars of American Jewish identity.

History is all about telling the story after the fact, but there is a particular wisdom to be gained in the heat of the moment which is easily lost in hindsight. The first episode of season four begins to explore the impact of the Six Day War on American Jewry through the wisdom of the moment itself.

The last installment in the Heralds of Zion series. This class explores the differences between Political and Cultural Zionism, along with introducing the personalities of Asher Ginsberg and Max Nordau. The primary question on the table is – how do you shape a new Jew?

Class four in the Heralds of Zion series. In this class we explore the life of Theodore Herzl. Along the way we discuss assimilation, antisemitism and the major events which led up to the birth of Zionism as a political movement. The central question of the class is – what made Herzl the father of Zionism?

Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip was fifteen years ago, but to me it feels like yesterday. In this interlude, author Daniella Levy joins me to discuss the fiction work which she wrote to engage this complex event. Along the way we speak about Tisha B’Av, what it means to be an immigrant and how one can tell a true story from multiple perspectives.

Class three in the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. This time we explore the formation of Eastern European Enlightenment within the Pale of Settlement, along with the rise of nationalist thought across Europe. Add to this the resurgence of antisemitism within Russia and you have the context for Leon Pinsker’s work Auto-emancipation.

Class two of the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. This class explores the tension between particularism and universalism as it found expression in the utopian socialist movements of the 19th century. In that context we meet Moses Hess, whose roots as a socialist did not prevent him from writing one of the earliest works of Jewish nationalism.

The first in the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. After introducing the two essential elements of Zionism, we explore its roots in classical religious thinking and how even this underwent an evolution in the 19th century.

Just as surely as Shabbat follows the six days of the week, there was a day after the Six Day War. When the guns ceased and the discussion began, the framing of Israel’s victory became the new battlefield. The final episode of the season traces the path to UN Resolution 242, and uncovers some of its roots as well.

Photo Credit: Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe, 5 March 2015, 21:14, Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe Kevin Gill from Nashua, NH, United States

There are certain qualities which, when they manifest, define one’s story -determination is one of them. Here is the story of the conquest of the Golan and the close of the war, events which will determine much of the chapters to come.

Photo Credit: Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 4.0,

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