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The Myth of the Jewish President

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Publication Date: October 1980

Publisher(s): Eugene Borowitz

Author(s): Jonathan D. Sarna

Series: Sh'ma, vol.10, no.98, October 3 1980.

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Politics (Politics)

Keywords: Culture; Diversity; Jewish security; Political Behavior

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author asserts that the idea that America is a country in which even a Jew can be elected president is a myth, albeit a comforting myth. This myth has both positive and negative effects, the author contends, including: to help Jews and Christians to coexist in America, to reinforce beliefs of American exceptionalis, to provide a polemical shield to the prejudiced, and to bridge the gap between Jewish hopes and American realities.