Part call to action and part riveting personal story, an original proposal for discovering relevance in Judaism and ensuring its survival from a pioneering social activist and Harvard MBA business leader who served as a fighter in the Israel Air Force.
God Is in the Crowd is an original and provocative blueprint for Judaism in the 21st century, told through the lens of Keinan's unusual personal story. Keinan's analysis of the threat to Jewish continuity is sobering: as Jewry has become concentrated in just two parts of the world, America and Israel, the Jewish people has lost the subtle code of governance that made Judaism relevant in the Diaspora. This "code," as Keinan explains it, is a derivative of Francis Galton's wisdom of crowds (aka swarm intelligence or collective intelligence). Keinan argues forcefully that the science of crowd wisdom has played a key role in Jewish survival over the centuries and must be resurrected now, since the alternative is the extinction of the Jews. Born to a secular Jewish family in Florida, Keinan's interest in Judaism was piqued by a Christian minister at Exeter. That interest took him down an unlikely path to becoming a fighter pilot in the Israel Air Force. Through the prism of his own dramatic personal story and the lessons he learned from his professional life, Keinan embarks on an investigation of the core values of Judaism in the twenty-first century, and looks to the relationship between American and Israeli Jews to enrich world Jewry in a post-Diaspora age. God Is in the Crowd presents an innovative plan in which the wisdom of the Jewish crowd is harnessed to endow Judaism with new purpose and ensure its survival.
“Advance praise for God Is in the Crowd “Tal Keinan has done things in his life most of us only fantasize about. His experiences as an Israeli fighter pilot and living in Israel have given him a perspective on the Jewish condition that is both original and penetrating. He has written a compulsively readable book, rich in insights about American and Israeli Jews, presented by way of an account that is part memoir and part manifesto for the way forward. This is a must-read for anyone interested in how we have come to this impasse and how we will move beyond it.”—Daphne Merkin “In God Is in the Crowd Tal Keinan blends social science, economics, religion, and national identity to help us see more clearly who we are as individuals, people, and a society.”—Dan Ariely, author of Dollars and Sense and The Upside of Irrationality “American, Israeli, entrepreneur, fighter pilot, and investor: Tal Keinan’s diagnosis of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora is provided through the lens of a rich and gripping life story. And his analysis of Jewish continuity is sobering. In God Is in the Crowd, Keinan explains why he believes the Jewish world will be unrecognizable within three generations. He offers a path forward for the Jewish future, which is provocative. Keinan’s contribution is indispensable to the debate about the future of the Jewish people.”—Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation “If you have been on Birthright, read this book. If you are a young person, struggling to determine whether or how to engage with your heritage, read this book. In an age when communal identities threaten to divide us, Tal Keinan offers a compelling model for celebrating our diversity. God Is in the Crowd is also a thrilling story. Start reading and you will find it difficult to stop.”—Michael Steinhardt “Beautifully written, brilliantly argued, this part-memoir, part-polemic, and part-blueprint for the Jewish future is a unique contribution to the Jewish conversation. Few have lived both the American Jewish and Israeli experiences as intensively as Tal Keinan; few have earned the right, as he has, to help us navigate our destiny as a people. For anyone concerned with Jewish continuity, this is a must-read.”—Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, and author of Like Dreamers, winner of the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Book of the Year Award ”