Ted Sasson: In a survey of American Jews conducted by the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies last summer, 28 percent of age 18-29 respondents — compared to 42 percent of those over 60 — reported feeling very connected to Israel. Does this statistic mean that younger Jews are becoming estranged from Israel, as Peter Beinart argued in his much discussed New York Review of Books essay (June 10, 2010)?
Consensus is the process seeking representation from
widely diverse viewpoints. It helps maintain civil debate on highly emotional issues, and it is the product after reaching consensus that reassures a broad cross-section of the community that their concerns have been addressed.
Underlying the decline of consensus is a crucial, related question: “Who speaks for the Jewish community?”
The challenge lies not in convincing people to see
matters uniformly but, rather, in looking at our own responses and asking why we do not recognize the connections that, even if elusive exist. Our task to know our Jewish boundaries and to take steps to reach across those boundaries.
(New Haven: Yale University Press): 273 pp., $30.00. Reviewed by Stephen J. Whitfield When the press exposed Richard Nixon for belonging to a New Jersey country club that lacked any black or Jewish members, a spokesman explained that the former president would not resign because he “prefers to work for change from within.” With far