Raised in a nonreligious Jewish family, Charles London knew hisheritage but had no strong desire to experience it personally. Thenin the summer of 2004, while doing relief work in Bosnia, he stumbled upon a remarkable community—where Jews worked alongside Muslims and Christians to rebuild a city ravaged by war. This encounter gave him the idea for a journey that would take him aroundthe world and back to his roots.
Far from Zion is the story of Jews in far-flung, often surprising places. Despite efforts by Israel to bring these scattered people home to Zion, they have chosen to remain in the lands of their birth: a shopkeeper selling Jewish trinkets in Iran, a caretaker keeping watch over an all-but-forgotten synagogue in Rangoon, revelers at a Hanukkah celebration in an Arkansas bowling alley, a Cuban engineering professor, proud of his Jewish heritage and prouder still of his Communist ideals. It is through their stories and many others that London examines his own identity, as he, too, struggles to come to terms with his connection to Zion.
I love this book. London's investigation really gets at the questions which tie Jews to Israel and whether those ties are permanent or sensitive.Published on December 1, 2012 by Natalie R. Robin
This book describes the author's travels to numerous small Jewish communities around the world (as well as a visit to Israel at the end). Read morePublished on July 26, 2010 by Michael Lewyn