American Jewish Political Behavior and the 2020 Elections
This every four year ritual is again upon us! In some measure, for American Jews these election cycles have emerged as a centerpiece of their American and Jewish identities. The rawness of American politics, especially in connection with this particular campaign, has only added to the intensity of this election season. With less than four weeks to go, this contest is consuming the attention of Jews across this nation!
As I watched the disturbing Trump-Biden debate on Sept. 29, I couldn’t help but think about the ways that Jewish voters would react and what that will mean for the election. Here are five key factors to watch:
The Jewish Vote: Introducing Some New Political Models
The Times of Israel
During these closing days prior to America’s presidential election, we continue to see the further unwinding of this nation’s electorate. What we have known for some time is the deep cultural divisions that define the voting base within this country.
A Rosh Hashanah Like No Other Encountering this Religious Experience in this Most Uncommon Moment
With all of its physical limitations, the Jewish New Year of 5781 will represent the single most significant religious gathering of Jews. As a result of our virtual connections, it is likely that more Jews will experience some form of the High Holy Day ritual experience than at any time in history. This moment may be as well the most challenging experience of our lifetime. How do we understand the idea of “future,” even the meaning of a “New Year” amidst this pandemic and the backlash of social unrest and economic chaos?
Are we seeing Americans give up on America? For the first time in my lifetime, I am hearing from some fellow citizens about leaving this country, as they fear that the democratic dream that has been America is beginning to come undone and their sense of personal security is unraveling.
The Jewish political tradition is rich as it is historic. The principles that define and shape how Jews understand and engage in the political process is drawn from their past, tied to their tradition and built on their encounters with modern political thought and practice. The materials gathered here are taken from an array of sources, reflective of the many different perspectives about Jews and political power.
The Revolution is Upon Us! Preparing for the New Normal
We are living in a transformative moment. This transition is less about the pandemic and more about the outcomes that we are preparing to experience. For certain, the economic picture is unclear, just as the political environment remains unsettled. “The impact of COVID-19 on life around the globe is extraordinary, and nonprofits are no exception to the disruption.” What will this mean for our society, our economy and our Jewish community?
What’s Going on Here? Why We Are Feeling Overwhelmed with the Rise in Anti-Semitism
The story of anti-Semitism is an old one, yet we American Jews have been spared much of what has defined the European marketplace of hostile ideas and destructive behaviors. A new storyline of hate appears to be present, as every poll taken of American Jewish opinion is reporting record levels of concern over heightened levels of anti-Semitism. This current manifestation of anti-Semitism is joined both from the right and the left, marking the first time in our American experience where we are experiencing this phenomenon. But there is also an unsettled feeling in connection with the rise of Black anti-Semitism.
I. Greatest Jewish Learning Moment in History: With the availability of Zoom, more Jews are being exposed to Jewish learning, history, and culture than at any point in time. Synagogues, national organizations, and federations are all reporting significant attendance for many of their educational programs. Similarly, significantly larger numbers of Jews are participating in religious worship observances. A new “virtual Judaism” is emerging that represents a level of communal engagement.