The Necessity of Exile by Shaul Magid: Book Launch

December 7, 2023

Join us to celebrate the launch of Shaul Magid’s The Necessity of Exile: Essays From a Distance. Co-sponsored by Ayin Press, Community Bookstore, and the Center for New Jewish Culture, this event features Magid in conversation with Jewish Currents editor-at-large Peter Beinart. Doors open at 7pm, discussion begins at 7:30pm.

About The Necessity of Exile: Essays From a Distance

What is exile? What is diaspora? What is Zionism? Jewish identity today has been shaped by prior generations’ answers to these questions, and the future of Jewish life will depend on how we respond to them in our own time. In The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance, rabbi and scholar Shaul Magid offers an essential contribution to this intergenerational process, inviting us to rethink our current moment making use of religious and political resources from the Jewish tradition.

On many levels, Zionism was conceived as an attempt to “end the exile” of the Jewish people, both politically and theologically. In a series of incisive essays, Magid challenges us to consider the price of diminishing or even erasing the exilic character of Jewish life. A thought-provoking work of political imagination, The Necessity of Exile reclaims exile as a positive stance for constructive Jewish engagement with Israel|Palestine, antisemitism, diaspora, and a broken world in need of repair.

You can read more about The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance by Shaul Magid and preorder copies for your loved ones here.

This is an in-person event that will take place at 17 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Doors open at 7pm, and the discussion begins at 7:30pm. The building is fully wheelchair-accessible via ground level entrance and elevator access to all floors.

We ask attendees to please take a Covid-19 test before arriving, to support those at higher risk in our community. Masks are encouraged, but not required. If you are experiencing symptoms of an illness, please do not attend. If you have any further questions on accessibility or accommodations, email us at

Shaul Magid is professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, Kogod Senior Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, senior fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue. He is the author of numerous books, including The Necessity of Exile: Essays From a Distance (Ayin Press, 2023) and Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical (Princeton University Press, 2021).

Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, an MSNBC political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

Ayin Press is an independent nonprofit publishing house and production studio rooted in Jewish culture and emanating outward. Ayin was founded on a deep belief in the power of culture and creativity to heal, transform, and uplift the world we share and build together. Both online and in print, we seek to celebrate artists and thinkers at the margins and explore the growing edges of collective consciousness through a diverse range of mediums and genres. We are committed to amplifying a polyphony of voices from within and beyond the Jewish world.

The Center for New Jewish Culture is a place for vital, boundary-pushing conversation about what it means to be Jewish. It is a sanctuary for cultural experimentation and ambition, with an emphasis on art, text, food, ritual and new ideas. The Center bridges past and future in its own space in a century-old former synagogue, and it searches for a Jewish way of being that speaks to us now.

Community Bookstore is Brooklyn’s oldest operating bookstore, serving Park Slope since 1971.