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The Beating Heart
The Beating Heart

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Exploration of Jewish Communities around the World
Authors: Ya’acov Fried
Yishay Shavit
Publisher: Gefen Publishing House

Price: $24.95
Format: Paperback
ISBN 10: 9657801192
ISBN 13: 9789657801192
Catalog Number: 7801-19
Year Published: 2023

Home is not a place. Home is a feeling. A Jewish home is first and foremost an emotional sensation of togetherness and belonging to an extended family. This is not a travel guide, nor a book about Jewish history, Jewish community institutions, Jewish sites, or kosher restaurants. The Beating Heart is a groundbreaking anthology that will take you on a cultural journey to Jewish destinations and communities around the world, as a family member peering into your own childhood home. Following in the footsteps of its companion anthology, Heartbeats, whose journey and story take place in the Jewish homeland of Israel, The Beating Heart will not only whet your appetite to explore Jewish communities around the globe, it will invite you – whether you are in the United States, Canada, England, or anywhere else in the world – to connect to the Jewish home inside your heart.

The Beating Heart is the culmination of an inspired project by Ya’acov Fried, a pioneer and leader in the world of educational travel, and Yishay Shavit, a leading Jewish tour educator. In this stunning anthology, leading tour educators take you on a fascinating and eye-opening journey from Western and Central Europe to the former Soviet Union and on to China, India, and Africa, where they delve deeply into Jewish communities with which they are intimately familiar. Their fresh, unconventional attitudes are the product of thousands of tours around the world exploring the Jewish angle in each destination. In each chapter, a local personality was chosen to shed light on unexplored terrains. The Beating Heart will allow you to experience, feel, learn, and enjoy the layers beneath each destination. Our hope is that this book will inspire you to travel to these destinations yourselves and to search for the Jewish angle in each place. We hope that such visits will pique your curiosity and cause you to ref lect on – and even challenge – your own Jewish identity.

The Beating Heart is an in-depth, refreshing book that offers insights into the heart of Jewish communities around the world from a historical and a contemporary lens. The book leads you to a variety of roads where you will discover our joint destiny.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
Senior Rabbi, Stephen S. Wise Synagogue, NYC

A rare invitation to be part of the vision in which every Jew has the right to find their own Jewish expression as part of their Jewish heritage. Opens the door to meeting new friends from around the Jewish globe who all share the same commonality of purpose and responsibility: making the world a better place.
Avraham Infeld
President Emeritus of Hillel – Foundation for Jewish Campus Life

From Belarus to Budapest, from Morocco to India, you are swept into a dramatic history and exciting realities. In this journey, you will gain a greater appreciation for the wonders of being part of one Jewish family.
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl
Senior Rabbi, Central Synagogue, NYC

An inside look at how pivotal social justice has been to the past, present, and future of the Jewish people – and the powerful example it sets to the world.
Alan Gill
Executive Vice President Emeritus, JDC

This is so much more than just a travel book – it’s an invitation to intimately explore Jewish culture and civilization from within. You will be surprised to see how much we all have in common and the extent to which you feel part of each community.
Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove
Senior Rabbi, Park Avenue Synagogue, NYC

The reader is brought face to face with the depth and breadth of the global Jewish community, as seen through the eyes of master educators and guides. It is, as the title suggests, a heartfelt journey.
Rabbi Elka Abrahamson
Director, Wexner Heritage Foundation

Land matters; it grounds our identity and roots us in our past. But people matter more. The tour educators and locals we meet throughout the pages of this book give us hope and inspiration.
Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein
Senior Rabbi, Am Shalom, Glencoe, Illinois and author of For the Love of Israel and For the Love of Being Jewish.

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