Political Diversification and Division in the American Jewish Community: The Effect on Consensus Building and Jewish Advocacy

Publication Date: January 1995

Publisher: Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Laurence A. Kotler-Berkowitz

Research Area: Culture and religion; Politics

Keywords: Management; Communal Organization; Leadership

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Communal consensus building is crucial for effective Jewish advocacy, particularly by Jewish community relations councils. In the past, the tendency of most American Jews to possess liberal political orientations has aided advocates in their consensus-building efforts. However, analysis of data from the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey reveals a diversification ofpolitical perspectives among American Jews and the emergence of a political division that substantially overlaps existing religious divisions in the Jewish community. Political diversification and reinforcing divisions will likely present an increasingly difficult challenge to professional Jewish advocates in their endeavor to develop and maintain community consensus.