Publisher’s Weekly: Home Lands

Publisher’s Weekly

“Throughout Western history, resilience has been among the most distinguishing characteristic of Jewish communities. Larry Tye’s Home Lands: Portrait of the New Jewish Diaspora attempts to shed new light on this timeless quality. Tye, a reporter at The Boston Globe, argues that the traditional dream of the Diaspora, as summarized by the final line of the Passover Seder — ‘Next year in Jerusalem!’ — has changed. Today, he says, Jews ‘are forever rooted in Israel, but no longer need to live there.’ The Diaspora no longer wait in hope of returning to the Holy Land; instead they are grounded in the permanent homes they have made and the cultures they have created throughout the world. And the relationships among these communities, he argues, are just as important as the relationship that each one has to Israel. Home Lands tours seven centers of Jewish life, including Dublin, Dusseldorf, and Atlanta. In each case, Tye tells the story of a Jewish community in counterpoint to the story of one representative family. Together, these stories add a deeply personal dimension to Home Lands’ political argument. The book’s final chapter, about the Jews of Israel, fulfills Tye’s promise to describe ‘a new encounter of equals, to replace the old one where Israel was seen as the center of the Jewish solar system with Diaspora communities orbiting as distant planets.’”
— Michael Joseph Gross, Publisher’s Weekly