Daniel J. Elazar

Professor Daniel J. Elazar (1934-1999) was a leading political scientist and specialist in the study of the Jewish political tradition, Israel, the world Jewish community, federalism, and political culture. He was Professor of Political Science at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he founded the Center for the Study of Federalism, and held the Senator N.M. Paterson Professorship in Intergovernmental Relations at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, heading its Institute for Local Government. Professor Elazar was the author or editor of more than 60 books, and founded and edited the scholarly journal Jewish Political Studies Review.

Publications by Daniel J. Elazar

Jerusalem: The Ideal City of the Bible

The function of cities is to enable humans to better achieve peace, harmony, prosperity, and happiness. How those functions should be handled depends upon what kind of city is involved. For this we may turn to the Bible for insight and guidance. Read More »

The Jews of Steamboat Springs

In the ski resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the late Professor Daniel J. Elazar, founder of the thirty-year, worldwide Study of Jewish Community Organization (and founder of the Jewish Political Studies Review), found a microcosm of the American Jewry now taking shape. In this town of 7,000 are several hundred Jews, ninety of whom are members of local Jewish organizations. They represent a community of Americans of Jewish descent for whom being Jewish is increasingly a matter of indiv Read More »

The State of Jewish Political Studies: Where we are, What we have Achieved, and what we have Negelected — After 30 Years

Thirty years after its beginning as a systematic field, Jewish political studies has succeeded in drawing attention to its subject matter and in bringing a small but highly competent group of scholars to consider that subject matter. We have established courses in over 25 institutions of higher learning, we have produced a quality list of publications: books, monographs, and articles, and a journal for the field. Read More »

A New Agenda for the Jewish People

The development of new frameworks, changing cultures, and major avenues of Jewish identification throughout the world. Read More »

Introduction: Religion in the Public Square: Jews Among the Nations

The question of dealing with religion in the public square may not be Jewish in the same way that it is a modern or contemporary question because of the differences between Judaism, certainly in its classical form, and Christianity. Dealing with the issue in Israel requires an understanding of this and of the fact that Israelis and others have been misled for years in thinking that there are only two categories of Jews in the country, a secular majority and a religious minority, when in fact, in terms of actual belief and practice, the majority of the Israeli population is traditional and only minorities on either end of the spectrum are Orthodox or secular. Read More »

The Jews of Miami

Miami Beach today, and one of the largest and strongest Jewish communities in the world. Read More »

Israel’s 1999 Elections: The Results

Discussing election results, the failure of the center, and the decline of both left and right. Read More »

Israel’s (5759) 1998 Local Elections

The religious factions in Jerusalem and voting centrist are discussed. Read More »

A Partnership for Israel – Diaspora Relations

Israel at Fifty: Some Issues in Building a Proper Democratic Polity

Israel at Fifty: Some Realities and Problems of Diversity Expression

Israel at Fifty: The Meaning of the Establishment of the State of Israel

Religious Zionists in Jerusalem

Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Judaism: How to Square the Circle

The WZO Elections – A New Beginning?

Strengthening the Ties Between the American Jewish Community and the States

The Tishrei Clashes: Where Do We Go From Here?

Religion in Israel: A Consensus for Jewish Tradition

Religion in Israel: A Consensus for Jewish Tradition

The unexpected victory of the religious (meaning Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox) parties in Israel’s elections surprised many people. For years, reporting from Israel and the comments of those Israelis whom the reporters cover or interview has suggested that Israeli Jews are divided into two groups: the overwhelming majority who are secular and a small minority who are religious. While figures, even percentages, were not always stated, outsiders and even many insiders were left to assume that 80 percent of Israelis fell into the secular camp and were being religiously coerced in one way or another by the Orthodox 20 percent. Read More »

The Israeli Election of 1996: Some Preliminary Analysis and First Thoughts

Primaries Have Come to Israel

Reinventing World Jewry Part II: Dividing and Sharing Tasks and Functions

Reinventing World Jewry Part I: Fundamentals, Tasks and Functions

Israel After Rabin

Oslo II: Where Will it Lead?

Yitzhak Rabin and the Israeli Polity: A Cultural Memorial

How European Jewish Communities Can choose and Plan their own Futures

Transitions at the Jewish Agency Assembly, 5775-1995

The Use of Direct Democracy (Referenda and Plebiscites) in Modern Government

The Jewish Polity: Options for the Future – Some Planning Guidelines

The Opportunities of the Israel – Jordan Peace

Tremors in Israel-Diaspora Relations

The Peace Process and the Jewishness of the Jewish State

Israel – Diaspora Relations and the Peace Process

On the Home Front: New Challenges to Zionism

Now that We Have Signed: How to Secure the Peace

Will There Be Peace?

The New Geo-Demographics of American Jewry

The New Geo-Demographics of American Jewry

American Jewry is on the verge of an organizational upheaval of an extent that it has not seen for nearly a hundred years since the present structure of the American Jewish community took form between 1890 and 1940. Only a few years ago, many American Jews were congratulating themselves on the very successful effort at self-organization. Read More »

The Jewish Agency: Historic Role and Current Crisis

The Israeli Knesset Elections, 1992: A First Analysis

What is Complicating the Peace Talks

The Good, the Bad, and the Absurd at the Peace Table

The USSR After the Summer of 1991: Some Lessons

Is Momentum Enough? The State of the American Jewish Community Today

Israel Under Attack

American Jewry in the 1990’s Part 2: The 1990 Demographic Study: Some Good News; Much Bad New

The 1990 Demographic Study: Some Good News; Some Bad News

The first results of the Council of Jewish Federations-sponsored demographic study of the population of the United States Jewish community now have been released. They include good news, strange news, and bad news. First the good news: There are 5,510,000 self-defined Jews in the United States as of 1990. This is 300,000 more than the 5.2 million self-defined Jews in the 1970 study. Read More »

American Jewry in the 1990s: Part 1 – A Growing Field of Jewish Vicitimization

Federal Democracy in a World Beyond Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism

Israel as a Jewish State

Beyond Israel’s self-definition as a Jewish state, the question remains as to what extent Israel is a continuation of Jewish political history within the context of
the Jewish political tradition. This article addresses that question, first by looking at the realities of Israel as a Jewish state and at the same time one compounded of Jews of varying ideologies and persuasions, plus non-Jews; the tensions between the desire on the part of many Israeli Jews for Israel to be a state like any other and the desire on the part of others for it to manifest its Jewishness in concrete ways that will make it unique.
Read More »

Changing Options for Israel/Arab Peace in the Wake of the Gulf Crisis

Constitutional and Electoral Freedom

Israel’s Doubly Precarious Position

Some Key Questions Facing the Jewish Polity in the New Decade

The Israeli Constitution Today: Reform and Reality

A Framework and Model for Studying and Teaching the Jewish Political Tradition

The very existence of a Jewish political tradition has gone virtually unrecognized in our own time, despite the Jewish national revival of the twentieth century. To correct this situation, a widening group of scholars has initiated a systematic effort to recover the several dimensions of the Jewish political tradition, seeking to build a comprehensive and fully integrated program in the teaching of this tradition and its contemporary uses. The subject matter of Jewish political studies falls into three major divisions: Jewish political institutions and behavior, Jewish political thought, and Jewish public affairs, which in turn include numerous subdivisions. The four primary tasks that should occupy scholars in the field include investigation, interpretation, presentation, and policy application. This article focuses on the first two tasks, outlining what has been done
and what still needs to be done. Read More »

Jews and Arabs in a “Dialogue for Peace” in Toledo

The Recent Government Crisis and Israel’s Political Future

The 1989 Israeli Local Elections: What Happened?

The Book of Joshua as a Political Classic

The argument of this paper is that the Book of Joshua is a classic of political thought, that can be and should be read as a coherent whole, in fact, as a major statement of the classic political world view of the Bible. For political science, it is the first classic exposition of federal republicanism.1 While the themes it emphasizes are derived from the Torah itself, the Torah combines them with other elements. In Joshua, the federal republican character of the Israelite edah (lit: congregation or assembly — the biblical term for the Israelite polity) under God is the central theme.2 Read More »

Learning from our Failures

Peoples as well as individuals can learn at least as much, if not more, from failures as from successes. Successes are usually just enjoyed; rarely are they analyzed to see what made them work. Failures, on the other hand, if we are aware of them (and we are not always aware of them), bring us up sharp and lead us to learn what we can do to do better next time. Read More »

Learning From our Failures

Now More than Ever is the Time for a Federal Solution

Exercising Sovereignty: The Israeli Elections of 1988

The Israeli Elections: Some Questions

The 1988 U.S. Presidential Race

Jewish Demography – Realities and Options

Some Concrete Steps for the Improvement of Jewish Agency Programs

Electoral Reform for Israel

What Can We Learn from the Pollard Case?

Hussein and the PLO – Egyptian State Invervention – What the Palestinians are Reading – Syria

Who is a Jew and How? The Demographics of Jewish Religious Identification

Judaism and Democracy : The Reality

The End of Chief Rabbinate?

Are There Really Jews in China?

The Jewish Agency: A Balance Sheet

Politics in a Quasi – Two – Party System

The New Agenda of European Jewry

The Israeli Elections: The Campaign Begins

From Begin to Shamir: The Implications of Heirut’s Succession Struggle

The United States and the Middle East: A Global View

The 1981 Elections: Some Observations

Israel, the Diaspora, and Jewish Spiritual Values

Project Renewal: Drawing Sweet from Bitter

The Autonomy, Some Considerations

American Jewry’s Purported Dilemna

New Ideas and Some Old Truths