Love and Dis/loyalty in a Time of Struggle: A Jewish Currents Tikkun Leil

June 15, 2024

In times of political crisis and fracture in the Jewish world, how should we respond to calls for unity, loyalty, and ahavat yisrael (“love of the Jewish people”)? How does the Jewish left negotiate these struggles over group identity?

At this critical juncture in our community, Jewish Currents is convening a special, late-night beit midrash—or house of learning—where a set of texts and practices serve as a common resource for inquiry and meaning-making. Inspired by the tikkun leil Shavuot, a neo-traditionalist and accelerated version of a beit midrash, built and dismantled over the course of a single night, we will collectively draw on Jewish and leftist contemporary and canonical texts to address pressing questions of Jewish communal life and future. These include:

  • What is the place of love in our relationship to fellow Jews?

  • What is the character of that love? Is it a kind of loyalty, or a kind of responsibility?

  • Which Jews are subject to that love? What are the lines of inclusion and exclusion?

  • How should this form of group solidarity relate to other group solidarities that are essential to the leftist political project?

  • In the shadow of the moral outrages of a Jewish ethnostate, can the Jewish covenant survive?

Join us in-person at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, located at 68 Jay Street, suite #425, in downtown Brooklyn. Doors at 9pm, teaching begins at 9:30pm. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Attendance is free for Jewish Currents members; tickets are $36 for non-members or $18 for a subsidized ticket. Space is limited—register today! Please get in touch with if cost is prohibitive; we have limited free admission spots available for those who need it.

We are looking forward to being together in person. To help keep all of us safe, please rapid test prior to attendance. Masking is encouraged. The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is fully wheelchair accessible.

Fannie Bialek is an assistant professor at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work focuses on contemporary religious and philosophical approaches to interpersonal relationships marked by love, justice, and care, or their absence.

Avi Garelick is a researcher and organizer based in Washington Heights, New York.

Ayaz Muratoglu is a poet, essayist, and translator living in Brooklyn. With Emily Bark Brown, they curate GIST, a Belladonna* Collaborative reading series in public spaces.