In this episode, I have an insightful conversation with Tomer Persico, an Israeli intellectual and activist for religious freedom in Israel. Tomer is renowned for his writings on religion and modern Jewish identity.

We delve into what Tomer defines as the “new antisemitism,” exploring its confounding distortions. We also discuss our sometimes secret desire to abandon Israel, and the reasons that keep us anchored and we share thoughts on what gives us strength in these unprecedented times.

About Dr. Tomer Persico:

Dr. Tomer Persico is a Research Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, a Rubinstein Fellow at Reichman University, and a Senior Research Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies. His expertise includes contemporary spirituality, Jewish modern identity, Jewish renewal, and the various forms of secularization and religiosity in Israel.

His first book, The Jewish Meditative Tradition (Hebrew), was published by Tel Aviv University Press in 2016. His second book, In God’s Image: Selfhood, Freedom, and Equality (Hebrew), was published by Yedioth in 2021 and will soon be available through NYU Press. His third book, Liberalism: Its Roots, Values, and Crises, is set to be published in July 2024.

As an advocate for religious freedom in Israel, Tomer has written extensively on these subjects, including regular contributions to the Haaretz op-ed section. He resides in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.\