Steven Bayme

Steven Bayme serves as national director, Contemporary Jewish Life, for the American Jewish Committee and is director of its Dorothy and Julius Koppelman Institute on American Jewish-Israeli Relations. He is also a visiting professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Publications by Steven Bayme

American Jewry’s Future as Seen Fifty Years Ago and Now

The twenty-first century has challenged if not shattered much of the prevailing optimism about the American Jewish future. Nevertheless, the United States continues to be the Diaspora society most welcoming of Jews and receptive to Jewish participation. Jewish renewal coexists alongside a larger narrative of Jewish assimilation. Jewish political influence may well have peaked, and its continuation should not be taken for granted. Read More »

American Jewry and the State of Israel: How Intense are the Bonds of Peoplehood?

American Jewish leadership, initially ambivalent about the creation of a Jewish state, quickly formed a pro-Israeli consensus within the Jewish community. The 1950 Ben-Gurion-Blaustein Agreement effectively removed many of the irritants in American Jewish-Israeli relations such as dual loyalty, negation of the Diaspora, and who may speak on behalf of the Jewish people. In turn, American Jewish leadership helped frame the ongoing special relationship between Washington and Jerusalem. Read More »

Israel and American Jewry: Oslo and Beyond

The problem of Diaspora assimilation threatened to undermine Israel’s position within American society and public opinion. Absent a critical mass of Jews sufficiently committed to the Jewish enterprise to make the case for Israel in the battle of ideas, U.S. Middle Eastern policy could well come to approximate the policies of European democracies. Read More »

The Intellectual Assault on Israel and Pro-Israel Advocacy: How the American Jewish Community Should React

American support for Israel historically has rested on four main pillars: the high esteem Jews enjoy within American society; the strong base of Christianity within American culture; the kinship Americans have for a fellow democracy; and, especially since 9/11, the common foes that confront both America and Israel. None of these pillars may be taken for granted; nor are they necessarily unequivocal. Read More »

Intermarriage and Jewish Leadership in the United States

The question of mixed marriage poses a dilemma to the American Jewish leadership. It would prefer not to choose publicly between integration into the broader society and distinctive Jewish survival. The realities of Jewish life in the United States, however, increasingly compel choices. Read More »