A year ago, I reread Hillel Halkin s Letters to an American Jewish Friend, which decades later stands as one of the smartest, sharpest explorations of the delicate relationship between the committed Diaspora Jew and the Aliyah-making Zionist. As I read the book, one page after another was loosened from the binding, and I thought, Boy we need a new edition of this book. I am thrilled to welcome this classic with a compelling, inspiring new introduction by the author. The issues are remarkably relevant, the writing remains fluid, the passion infectious, the insights profound. New generations of readers will be inspired by this, and older generations of readers will eagerly greet this new edition like an old and long yearned-for friend. --Gil Troy, author, Moynihan s Moment: America s Fight against Zionism as Racism and Why I Am A Zionist
Three and a half decades ago, the appearance of Hillel Halkin s Letters to an American Jewish Friend sent shockwaves through the American Jewish community. The book was what would become known as vintage Halkin smart, thoughtful, provocative, unsettling. No one who read it put it down untouched or unmoved. That Letters is being reissued now, making it available to a generation that needs it perhaps even more than the generation in which it first appeared, is cause for celebration, hope and gratitude. --Daniel Gordis, Shalem College, Jerusalem; winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Saving Israel
About the Author
Hillel Halkin was born in New York City in 1939. In 1970 he and his wife made aliya to Israel, settling in Zichron Yaakov. He has translated some seventy works of modern Hebrew fiction into English, among them classics by such authors as Agnon, Brenner, and Amos Oz. Halkin has also written weekly columns for the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, the New York Sun, and the Jerusalem Review. Hailed by McGill professor Gil Troy as a great contemporary Zionist thinker, Halkin has authored five other books in addition to Letters to an American Jewish Friend (1977): Across the Sabbath River (Houghton-Mifflin, 2002); A Strange Death (Public Affairs, 2005); Yehuda Halevi (Schocken Jewish Encounter Series, 2010); Melisande! What Are Dreams? (Granta, 2013); and a biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky (expected 2014, Yale University Press).