In Chicago, a new synagogue seeks Judaism minus Zionism

(RNS) An Israeli flag next to the rabbi’s podium, a synagogue-wide Israel Independence Day celebration, a prayer for the state of Israel during services — for many, these are innocuous if not positive parts of American Jewish congregational life.

For Rabbi Brant Rosen and his future congregants at Tzedek Chicago, a new synagogue that identifies as non-Zionist, these are symbols of a nationalism-infused Judaism, which he thinks is not only unnecessary but harmful.

“We believe that that’s led to some very dark places and that the establishment of an exclusively Jewish nation-state in a land that has historically been multiethnic and multireligious has led irrevocably to the tragic issues that we’re facing today,” Rosen said.

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