The Failure of the Jewish Establishment?

The New York Times Review of Books carried a challenging piece on Sunday, The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment, by Peter Beinart, Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and Senior Political Writer for The Daily Beast.

The opinion piece covers an incredibly wide range of territory, generally on the topic of why college-age and young Jewish adults aren’t more supportive of and better advocates for Israel.  Beinart includes history, generations, right vs. left, orthodox vs. non-orthodox, US vs. Israeli politics, major organizations, liberalism and more. Here’s one of the remarks:

Morally, American Zionism is in a downward spiral. If the leaders of groups like AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations do not change course, they will wake up one day to find a younger, Orthodox-dominated, Zionist leadership whose naked hostility to Arabs and Palestinians scares even them, and a mass of secular American Jews who range from apathetic to appalled. Saving liberal Zionism in the United States—so that American Jews can help save liberal Zionism in Israel—is the great American Jewish challenge of our age. And it starts where Luntz’s students wanted it to start: by talking frankly about Israel’s current government, by no longer averting our eyes.”

We are still digesting it.  Please give it a read and share your feedback with us.

eter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and Senior Political Writer for The Daily Beast. His new book, The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris, will be published in June.

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About Editor

I'm David Fellows, and I've served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and I've written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I was also a professional photographer from 1978 to 1988 (although you never really stop...). I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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  1. Here's one reply – by Jonathan Chait, in The New Republic (online)
    A Reply To Peter Beinart

  2. I felt that this is a very important article which, I believe,enables us to see the trends and changes, both in Israel and the American Jewish community. The sooner we prepare ourselves, the better chance we have to avoid a very bleak future for the Jewish people in general and Israel in particular. I read it very carefully and unfortunately had to agree with much of what was written in the article. I saw the signs soon after we returned to Israel and they are now louder and clearer then ever.
    The US Jewish leadership should get together urgently to find ways to fight the alarming trends.

    With best wishes,

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