American Jews may be ``members of the tribe'' by virtue of their birthright, but they are also complacent, overly obsessed with the Holocaust and in danger of self-extinction through assimilation. These are some of the forthright opinions arrived at by Chafets, himself a Jew, as he crisscrossed the United States after a 20-year absence. He lives in Israel and grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. This outsider status gives him a unique vantage point, and his entertaining, breezy, impressionistic travelogue grapples with important issues. He also ventures down seldom-traveled roads as he visits the Jews of the Louisana bayou, a gay synagogue in San Francisco, Jewish prayer services in a Pennsylvania prison, Jews trapped in poverty in a welfare hotel. Author of Heroes and Hustlers, Hard Hats and Holy Men , Chafets takes an opinionated stance whether he is discussing the Jewish Defense League, rivalry between Chasidic sects or American Jews' relationship to Israel. (October)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988 Release date: 09/01/1988 Genre: Nonfiction
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