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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Excerpt from Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Nonconformist


Daniel Kotzin’s Judah L. Magnes: An American Jewish Nonconformist offers a new view of Magnes, a prominent American rabbi and Zionist leader who emigrated to Palestine after World War I and became the first president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Paradoxically, as Kotzin demonstrates, it was through his work in Jerusalem that Magnes most clearly sought to realize his American values. In the face of pressure from leaders of the Yishuv for a Jewish state, Magnes championed democracy, humanistic values, and Jewish–Arab binationalism.

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