Tune in to a heated conversation on what Jews think as we head into the 2012 election cycle. Judith L. Lichtman: What do we know about ourselves as Jews that will inform how we think about the upcoming election? <> Raphael Sonenshein: The Jewish dilemma in politics is always Hillel’s dilemma: “If I’m not for
Mark Silk In American politics, religion matters in three ways. First, religious identity matters. Mormons and evangelical Protestants vote solidly Republican. Jews and the non-religious are in the Democratic camp. Catholics, who used to be loyal Democrats, are now a swing constituency, divided between strongly Democratic Latinos and modestly Republican-leaning whites. Second, the intensity of
An Exchange of Letters Steven Windmueller & Howard I. Friedman Dear Howard, In prior conversations, you and I have discussed the story of American Jewish “exceptionalism” and agreed to disagree. We both acknowledge that the Jewish experience in American society has been unique within the annals of our history and we agree that opportunities afforded
Michael M. Adler In the 2012 presidential election, Florida will be given two additional electoral votes. The Jewish community here has been and continues to be a very important part of the state’s electorate. Jews will be a major factor in determining Florida’s 29 electoral college votes — votes that may determine the outcome of
Rachel Meytin The New York Times recently profiled a Silicon Valley Waldorf school because the school bans Internet technology for its students (both within the school and at home). The school is striving to create an environment that is conducive to learning at a core level, trusting that students will have plenty of time to
Secretary of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites Myer S. Isaacs wrote to President Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the presidential election, October 26, 1864, that ìthe ‘Jewish vote’ which does not exist.” Isaacs nevertheless assures Lincoln that ìthe majority of Israelite citizens must concur in attachment for the Union and a determination
To ascertain the total number of voting Jews, Sh’ma asked Jerome Chanes, author of several books on Jewish public affairs and a fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, for his estimation. The number of Jewish voters is as fuzzy as the number of Jews. How
1. Is Israel being used in the election as a wedge issue? When did bipartisanship on Israel change?
2. What would you want to ask each presidential candidate?
3. Have Jews become more polarized as an electorate? Is there a “Jewish vote”? If so, is it more divided today into separate cohorts than in previous elections?
4. Is Judaism by nature “conservative” — that is, it conserves tradition? Or is it “liberal” — a tradition based on prophetic vision? Or both?
5. What role will jobs creation, the economy, and other domestic issues play in the election — and do your Jewish sensibilities influence your opinions on these issues?
“The moralists discuss, suggest, counsel; the prophets proclaim, demand, insist.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets When I first picked up Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s seminal book on the prophets, I read it with a healthy dose of skepticism. As an organizer, I was frustrated with people who fashioned themselves as modern-day prophets — men and