Isra Isle (IsraIsland)

The State of the Jews on an Indian island, near Niagara Falls.

It almost happened. Mordechai Manuel Noah, a diplomat, playwright and journalist had purchased Grand Island on September 1825 and established a safe haven he named Ararat. However, Noah's call to world Jewry to settle on the island was rejected and no Jews arrived.

On September 2001 Liam Emanuel, an Israeli descendant of Noah, inherits the island. He leaves Israel with a burning desire to reclaim the Promised Land in America where he vanishes with no trace.

Simon T. Lenox, a Police investigator of Native American origin, is given the task of recovering Israel's "missing son". By following in Liam Emanuel's footsteps, Lenox must also discover what Jews are, who Israelis are, and why this strange tribe of wanderers has been troubling the world for so long.

The novel travels on the axis of time between Israel of today, the almost forgotten Ararat, and IsraIsland - the land of the Jews that could have been.

Nava Semel brings her Israeli point of view by reflecting upon the early history of the Jewish immigration to America and the bond between Diaspora Jews and Israelis. Her new novel raises the never ending question of where the true Jewish homeland is. Can it only be Zion, or is there another alternative?

Yale lecture
Yale lecture

An excerpt from the book was published in: "Where We Find Ourselves" - Jewish Women around the world write about home, edited by Miriam Ben-Yoseph and Deborah Nodler Rosen, excelsior editions, State University of New York Press, Albany NY, 2009.



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