Articles

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‘Hanukkah homecoming’: Celebrating community after crisis

eJewish Philanthropy

November 22, 2021

American Jews have been deeply engaged with the American story. As such, Jews have been active partners in celebrating the importance of community, especially after the country emerges from crisis. When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, how will we encourage our people to reconnect with the communal organizations that have pulled us through, and to move, as we pray in Psalm 30, “from mourning to dancing?”

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American Jewish Political Giving: A Primer

The Times of Israel

November 21, 2021

More than any other political measure, campaign giving signifies a particular level of intensity and commitment. The 2017 Pew Study on American Political Giving affirms that more Americans than ever are financially supporting their party’s candidates.

In this analysis, the role of Jewish political giving is examined in some detail. As we would expect, Jewish support for political parties and candidates or specific issues and causes reflects a heightened level of participation.

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The Political Challenges Before Us: What’s Ahead in 2022?

The Times of Israel

November 13, 2021

The United States may be facing its most serious threat to its democratic institutions since the Civil War. The character and content of this nation’s politics is marked by a deep and dangerous political divide. We are living through a fundamentally disruptive moment in our political culture. Not only are we experiencing strikingly different policy options but the cultural artifacts of politics, namely how some of our politicians operate are dramatically challenging the existing norms of our democracy by introducing conspiratorial ideas, delivering hateful messaging, and promoting acts of violence. The politics of hate will sadly but likely impact the 2022 mid-term elections.

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Donald Trump and the Rise of American Jewish Nationalism

The Times of Israel

November 3, 2021

Former President Donald Trump in a recent radio interview commented: “You have, between AOC and Omar and these people that hate Israel, they hate it with a passion. They’re controlling Congress, and Israel is not a force in Congress anymore.” The former president again lamented his poor support among American Jews, saying “it’s incredible that I didn’t get the kind of a vote from Jewish people that you would think I would get. Jewish people in this country, many of them, do not like Israel.”

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Twenty Years After: Reflections on 9/11

The Times of Israel

September 10, 2021

No event in our lifetime has so transformed America and its citizens as 9/11. The orchestrated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon would fundamentally disrupt this nation’s sense of security and forever change the character and content of our democracy.

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Will the New American Jewish Orthodoxy Continue to Shape Jewish Life?

The Jewish Journal

August 3, 2021

There is a new American Jewish orthodoxy that has nothing to do with religious Jewish expression. The American Jewish landscape is increasingly characterized by strident expressions of political difference, with debates and arguments between Jews blossoming in both real and virtual spaces. While in some ways these fierce discussions emulate the character and content of the broader realm of political debate, there are certain features that are particular to the Jewish response.

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Organizational change: How the pandemic is transforming our community

eJewish Philanthropy

July 27, 2021

During this pandemic, there has been an explosion of new resources available to organizational leaders concerning institutional governance and management. The underlying thesis of these many prescriptions argues that there is a fundamental shift underway in organizational practice resulting from the COVID experience.

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Redefining Contemporary Hate

The Jewish Journal

July 12, 2021

We are in a new era of antisemitism. Multiple expressions of hate have converged to create a different and more dangerous scenario. Whereas antisemitic attacks in our era have typically been more indiscriminate, they have recently become more blatant and violent.

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Not your grandparents’ antisemitism: The new models of hate

The Times of Israel

July 1, 2021

We are in a new era of global hate and American extremism. While we know that Jews have experienced these difficult times before in their complex history, we are encountering a fundamentally different American Jewish experience than we have known.
A number of factors have made this contemporary expression of hate distinctive and particularly dangerous. In other places, I have addressed some of the historic manifestations and triggers associated with various expressions of hate.

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Why Jewish community relations is distinctive and essential: Framing the current debate

eJewish Philanthropy

June 28, 2021

American Jewry and its institutional actors are today in a different operational place. No doubt, conversations about the future of various agencies, services and programs are essential.
Where does community relations policy-making belong within the Jewish communal orbit? Should such national instruments as the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, (JCPA) be incorporated into the federation system or should it be permitted to remain an independent entity? At a time of such deep polarization around politics and policies, is there room for a communal public policy agency to articulate its independent message, when at times its viewpoints are seen as not reflective of the community’s power base?