Israel's Rabbinate Confronts Jewish Democracy
Thursday, January 16, 2014
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
A talk by Alexander Kaye, Princeton University
Cosponsored by the UCLA Department of History
In the early days of the State of Israel, there were many debates about the new state’s constitution. This lecture will examine the constitutional proposals of religious Zionist thinkers and the questions they asked themselves: Should the state be a Jewish theocracy? If so, how would it treat women and non-Jewish citizens? How should traditional Jewish law approach new technologies and modern problems? Are the laws of Israel’s parliament religiously binding? The lecture will consider the wide diversity of answers that religious Jews offered to these questions and will explore how these early debates continue to have consequences for Israel today.
About the Speaker
Alexander Kaye is a Tikvah Post-Doctoral Fellow in Jewish Thought at Princeton University. He received his PhD in History from Columbia University where his dissertation was entitled The Legal Philosophies of Religious Zionism 1937-1967, his BA and MPhil from the University of Cambridg, and rabbinical ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. His research interests include Jewish intellectual history, the history of political thought, legal theory and the relationship between law, religion and politics in Israel. Along with UCLA Professor of History David Myers, he recently co-edited The Faith of Fallen Jews: Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi and the Writing of Jewish History.