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Toward a Theory of Disproportionate American Jewish Liberalism

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Publication Date: January 1995

Publisher(s): Oxford University Press

Author(s): Geoffrey Levey

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Politics (Political ideologies and movements)

Keywords: American Jews; Political behavior

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


In Studies in Contemporary Jewry 11, 64-85. This article seeks to advance a new approach to explaining the disproportionate liberalism of American Jews. It rejects the standard assumption that American Jews are predisposed by their experience among non-Jews to be especially politically liberal. The pronounced liberalism of American Jews is best understood in terms of dynamics and tensions in their relation to the Jewish community as a religious body politic rather than in their relations with non-Jews or with non-Jewish society.