Communal Trends and Issues


The future of the American Jewish community has become a significant and challenging theme within recent years. The issue is not about whether our community will survive and flourish but rather what will be the elements, both structural and ideological, that will define the communal agenda for the 21st century.

Our communities are being challenged on a number of levels: new generational and demographic patterns of affiliation and participation, the changing economic realities, a crisis in leadership succession and engagement, and the role of technology in recasting how organizations will operate. The communal system was built to address a different set of issues. Structurally, it was designed to represent another generation of Jews.

My work on some of the national agencies is represented here by the piece on the UJC (United Jewish Communities), work that I was pleased to collaborate with Jerry Bubis several years ago.

I have written and lectured extensively on what I have defined as the “Second American Jewish Revolution” as a way of introducing the core elements that are associated with a new Jewish communal paradigm. Similarly, in more recent months, I have focused my work on the implications of the economic crisis of 2008-09 on the future of the communal enterprise. The reader will find both articles appended to this section.

My discussion on the Jewish future can be seen in a piece found within this section, addressing a call for a national Jewish conversation.

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