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The Spectrum of Jewish Leadership in Ante-Bellum America

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Publication Date: February 1999

Author(s): Jonathan D. Sarna

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Social conditions (Social status)

Keywords: American Jews; Leadership

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Students of American ethnic leadership have three basic conceptual models within which they organize their data: source of authority; conscious leadership strategy; and leadership function. The model proposed in this essay seeks to position a "spectrum of leadership" rather than just another series of categories. On a spectrum, leaders can be placed in relationship to one another and change over time can be graphed. To test this model, the author examines ethnic leadership in America's ante-bellum Jewish community.