Jews knew Israel in a few ways. They learned about it through the ideologies to which they subscribed—Labor Zionism, Religious Orthodoxy, Reform Judaism, etc—and they knew about it on a meta-level as part of their sense of peoplehood. Many ideologies lost their edge, and in general Jews in western lands emphasized their religious identity more than their national ethnic tribal origins. We therefore need stronger educational efforts designed to teach the history, texts, and ideas of Zionism and Israel. In my experience knowledge attaches people to their subject, especially something as compelling as a subject about one’s self and that self connected to some larger purpose. Here is my piece from Jewish Ideas Daily.