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America's Jews: Highly Fragmented, Insufficiently Disputatious

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Publication Date: January 2003

Author(s): Jack Wertheimer

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Social conditions (Community life and organization)

Keywords: American Jews; Political behavior

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


As for the institutions of the Jewish community - the subject of this essay - organizations that speak for the Jews rarely engage in serious debate with one another. To some extent this absence of sustain debate is inertial: during the middle decades of the 20th century the Jewish community had achieved such widely agreement on key issues that it continues to act as if the earlier consensus is still strong. But on a deeper level many communal leaders fear debate, and they strive instead to paper over differences rather to bring genuine disagreement into the open.