“Enthralling, searching, profound, an extraordinarily powerful work on Jewish identity in the twenty-first century.”—Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A bold proposal for discovering relevance in Judaism and ensuring its survival, from a pioneering social activist, business leader, and fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force


God Is in the Crowd is an original and provocative blueprint for Judaism in the twenty-first century. Presented through the lens of Tal Keinan’s unusual personal story, it a sobering analysis of the threat to Jewish continuity. As the Jewish people has become concentrated in just two hubs—America and Israel—it has lost the subtle code of governance that endowed Judaism with dynamism and relevance in the age of Diaspora. This code, as Keinan explains, is derived from Francis Galton’s “wisdom of crowds,” in which a group’s collective intelligence, memory, and even spirituality can be dramatically different from, and often stronger than, that of any individual member’s. He argues that without this code, this ancient people—and the civilization that it spawned—will soon be extinct. Finally, Keinan puts forward a bold and original plan to rewrite the Jewish code, proposing a new model for Judaism and for community in general.

Keinan was born to a secular Jewish family in Florida. His interest in Judaism was ignited by a Christian minister at his New England prep school and led him down the unlikely path to enlistment in the Israel Air Force. Using his own dramatic experiences as a backdrop, and applying lessons from his life as a business leader and social activist, Keinan takes the reader on a riveting adventure, weaving between past, present, and future, and fusing narrative with theory to demonstrate Judaism’s value to humanity and chart its path into the future.

Advance praise for God Is in the Crowd

“Beautifully written, brilliantly argued, this is a unique contribution to the conversation and a must read for anyone concerned with Jewish continuity.”—Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

God Is in the Crowd 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 The Upside of Irrationality

“American, Israeli, entrepreneur, fighter pilot, and investor: Keinan’s diagnosis of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora is provided through the lens of a rich and gripping life story. Keinan’s contribution is indispensable to the debate about the future of the Jewish people.”—Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation
“Tal Keinan has written an extraordinarily powerful work on Jewish identity in the twenty-first century. Enthralling, searching, profound and compellingly written, it should be read by everyone concerned about the Jewish future.”—Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth and author of Not in God’s Name

“Beautifully written, brilliantly argued, this is a unique contribution to the conversation and a must read for anyone concerned with Jewish continuity.”—Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor

God Is in the Crowd 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 The Upside of Irrationality

“American, Israeli, entrepreneur, fighter pilot, and investor: Keinan’s diagnosis of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora is provided through the lens of a rich and gripping life story. Keinan’s contribution is indispensable to the debate about the future of the Jewish people.”—Dan Senor, co-author of Start-up Nation

“Part memoir and part road map for the way forward, a book that is both intensely personal and imbued with a collective vision . . . an audacious and compelling read.”—Daphne Merkin, author of This Close to Happy

“We need Keinan’s astute readings of Israel’s current position and his unexpected glimpses of a possible future to make our way through these murky times.”—Judith Shulevitz, author of The Sabbath World

“Tal Keinan offers a uniquely modern vision of community as framework for identity, a timely challenge to the contemporary ethic of individualism. This is an important book, and not just for Jewish readers.”—Cokie Roberts

“A meaningful attempt to answer a significant question: How can Judaism survive? . . . [Tal Keinan] provides an impassioned yet well-reasoned and definitively well-written reflection on an imperiled people. A thoughtful and relevant assessment of the current state of Judaism.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)