Jews, Palestinians, and Friends (Paperback)
Richie Zweigenhaft's Jews, Palestinians, and Friends: 45 Years at a Quaker College (Sort of a Memoir) is a history of the intersection of religions, political positions, and debates at a small academic institution in the "New South." This history is filtered through Zweigenhaft's memories and experiences as he navigates the complex mix of faiths as a Jewish, "Quakerly," secular agnostic. Open-minded and generous, Jews, Palestinians, and Friends charts the steps forward and the missteps and misdirections of individuals and institutions in the slow arc of progress toward racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Although it is a personal narrative, this "sort of a memoir" addresses issues that have been faced by every college in America over the past 45 years.
Jews, Palestinians and Friends: 45 Years at a Quaker College is relatable, relevant, and an extremely enjoyable read. Zweigenhaft sheds light on the complexity of the multi-faceted issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while simultaneously showing how that conflict impacts both the ivory tower and the local community it finds itself in. Anyone who has ever taught in a small liberal arts college will no doubt find similarities between this "sort of a memoir" and their own experience. A must read for anyone concerned with the uncertain future of small liberal arts institutions.
- Rhonda F. Levine Professor of Sociology, Emerita, Colgate University
Most, if not all, American campuses, struggle in dealing with the politics of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Richie Zweigenhaft narrates, from his Jewish identity experience, the story of Guilford College, a Quaker school, and how its community and institutions were enriched by the dynamics of having Jewish and Palestinian faculty and students. His message is certainly inspiring and offers important lessons for other academic institutions to learn from.
- Mohammed Abu-Nimer Professor, School of International Service, American University
Richie Zweigenhaft's book is more than a delightfully readable memoir. It has much to tell us about how Guilford College shed its provincialism. It is also a case study of how American higher education since the 1970s responded to one of the world's most contentious issues, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Tom Hamm Professor of History, Earlham College