Wicked Son

Tikkun Ha’am / Repairing Our People: Reimagining Liberal Judaism in America


Contemporary Judaism is facing unprecedented challenges. Today’s Jews have the opportunityand the obligationto reclaim a Jewish vocabulary of sanctity, activism, and the desire to stand apart from today’s world.

Repairing Our People is a cry from the heart by one of American Judaism’s most prolific voices. His message: the role of religion is to challenge us as individuals and to challenge society. Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin muses about contemporary Jewish identity, Judaism, Israel, spirituality, and popular culture. As if having a cup of coffee with an old friend, Rabbi Salkin invites readers to think deeply about the contemporary world, showing that Judaism has a stake in our world’s political, religious, and cultural battles.

“Rabbi Salkin is a deep thinker and a beautiful writer. I was swept in from the first sentence of the book. He is a bold, creative and original thinker, and by reading Tikkun Ha’am, you, too, will be inspired to think more deeply about your life and your Jewish identity. Rabbi Salkin’s insights are directly relevant to our individual and collective lives. He has been a keen observer of social trends for decades, and does not hesitate to point out deficiencies in popular ideas. Put Tikkun Ha’am on your bookshelf of classic Jewish books, and you will return to it over and over again.”

–Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Senior rabbi, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, New York, NY

Tikkun Ha’am proves once again that Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin is among the wisest observers of our society and our souls—a Rabbi who writes with humor, depth and clarity.”

–Rabbi David Wolpe, Max Webb Emeritus Rabbi, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, CA

“Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin is one of the leading liberal voices in American Judaism. In his new book, Tikkun Ha’am – Repairing Our People, he highlights current disturbing trends—shrinking synagogue affiliation, the unraveling of ties to Jewish life and to Israel, and an emerging individualistic and privatized Judaism. His insightful essays invite us to imagine what it would mean for us to create an intellectually alive and spiritually compelling alternative.”

–Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Rabbi Emerita, Author of Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks. Her latest book is I Am Not Afraid: Psalm 23 for Bedtime

Tikkun Ha’am gathers together the provocative and insightful writings of Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin on a host of wide-ranging topics vital to Jews and non-Jews alike. The essays here on communal, political, cultural, religious, social, and personal topics, demonstrating why Rabbi Salkin is a premiere commentator on the American, Israeli, and world Jewish scene today. A rabbi’s rabbi, Salkin wears his knowledge lightly and displays his learning in a clear manner that is easily accessible. His commitments to the Jewish people, Jewish life, Jewish religion, and the State of Israel shine forth on every page of this book, providing much-needed direction for a Jewish community that requires his wisdom and truths. I recommend this book enthusiastically!”

–Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor Emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

“Written with keen insight, historical depth, passion, anxiety and most of all love, this plea for a deepening of Liberal Judaism from one of America’s most thoughtful rabbis is essential reading. Drawn from his decades of service to the Jewish people, Rabbi Salkin has written one of the most important Jewish books of our time.”

–Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, author of the New York Times bestseller, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

“With the publication of this new book, Rabbi Jeff Salkin again demonstrates his ability to take the pulse of American Jewry. His observations on the future of liberal Judaism in America are courageous, thought-provoking, often humorous, and always compassionate and self-critical. Wherever you are on the spectrum of Jewish belief, practice, and politics, this book will force you to confront hard truths and deep hopes.”

–Rabbi David Ingber, founding rabbi, Romemu, New York, NY

“Rabbi Salkin is a clear thinker and an important and original voice in liberal Judaism. The essays in this book are a reflection of his depth. If the ideas he presents are embraced, they would likely create and shape a movement of passionate, devoted, serious, and loving Jews. If you care about the future of Judaism in America, and you like to think, it is vital to read this book.”

–Rabbi David Woznica, Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin Rabbinic Chair, Stephen Wise Temple, Los Angeles, CA

“Rabbi Jeff Salkin is an important Reform rabbi who knows the limitations of his movement, and senses what it needs to correct itself and how to assure its future. He speaks out against antisemitism (and understands the limits of doing so). He affirms the centrality of the state of Israel, with love, realism, and without preachiness. He describes the Jewishness of Spielberg and
Hollywood, and the religious teachings of Leonard Cohen’s songs. He represents liberal Judaism at its best, offering a prescription to heal Jewry. If all Jews, and not just liberal Jews, would heed his words, they could truly repair the Jewish people—the tikkun ha’am, which is his goal.”

–Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, Senior scholar in residence, Hadar Institute; President Emeritus, CLAL—National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; Founding President, Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation.