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An elegantly composed work about Jewish identity that yields enormous insight from direct, simple questions.
— Kirkus Reviews

Raised in a nonreligious Jewish family, Charles (Alex) London knew his heritage but had no strong desire to experience it personally.

Then in the summer of 2004, while doing relief work in Bosnia, he stumbled upon a remarkable community-where Jews worked alongside Muslims and Christians to rebuild a city ravaged by war. This encounter gave him the idea for a journey that would take him around the world and back to his roots.

Far from Zion is the story of Jews in far-flung, often surprising places. Despite efforts by Israel to bring these scattered people home to Zion, they have chosen to remain in the lands of their birth: a shopkeeper selling Jewish trinkets in Iran, a caretaker keeping watch over an all-but-forgotten synagogue in Rangoon, revelers at a Hanukkah celebration in an Arkansas bowling alley, a Cuban engineering professor, proud of his Jewish heritage and prouder still of his Communist ideals, even a group of Ugandan Coffee farmers who have adopted Judaism in the 20th century.

Far From Zion tells the story of these far flung communities and through them,  the author explores his own identity and personal history, as he, too, comes to terms with his connection to Zion.

London’s method of inquiry is refreshing. His ability to go out into the field—and confidently to switch between the storyteller’s, the anthropologist’s, and the historian’s hat—produces a rich and personalized narrative...
— Newsweek