About “Brooklyn”

In this song, Banai sums up his mixed feelings when touring Jewish Brooklyn. We might see in Banai’s excitement and confusion a mirror image of an American Jew’s thoughts when wandering the streets of Jerusalem…


  • Banai uses sacred (even Jerusalem-style) language to describe Brooklyn. Are there any places in America that are sacred for you? Why? Do you think there is such a thing as a sacred place outside of Israel?

  • In the song, Banai touches on his ability to feel at home with other Jews, even ones he has never met and has very little in common with. Do you feel connected or “at home” with Jews in other countries?
  • When Banai says “I am not from here, but not entirely foreign” do his feelings of strange familiarity resonate with your feelings when you come to visit Israel? In what way do you feel foreign and/or familiar when you visit to Israel?
  • Banai describes his anticipation on the way to Brooklyn: “On the way to Brooklyn I’m excited, Does she have what my heart seeks?” What does your heart seek when you travel to Israel? Do you wonder if Israel will have what your heart seeks?

  • The fact that in some way Banai felt at home in Brooklyn raises the question: Should Jews feel at home anywhere other than Israel? Should they feel at home at all? After all, haven’t we been wandering the globe for two thousand years?
  • If you were to meet an Israeli visiting your town from Israel, what would you talk to them about? What would be the common ground, and where would you differ?

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