Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts - Volume 10, Numbers 1 & 2 (Spring 5758/1998)
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts

Volume 10, Numbers 1 & 2 (Spring 5758/1998)

Assemblies by the Sea: The Jewish Chautauqua Society in Atlantic City, 1897-1907 - Peggy K. Pearlstein

The Jewish Chautauqua Society (JCS), founded in Philadelphia in 1893 by Reform Rabbi Henry Berkowitz, evolved from an organization dedicated to popularizing Jewish knowledge among Jews to one devoted to teaching non-Jews about Judaism. Modelled on Chautauqua Institution, the Society established reading circles, a Correspondence School for Hebrew Sunday School teachers, religious schools for the children of Jewish farmers, published textbooks, and, beginning in 1897, held annual assemblies for more than forty years.

Since 1939 the Society has been under the sponsorship of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods, a lay Reform organization. It expanded the programs of the JCS, and today primarily supports rabbinic resident lectureships on Judaism at colleges and universities throughout the United States, an outgrowth of university lectures that the JCS began in 1909. Since its inception, the JCS has sought to combat anti-Semitism, dispel prejudice, and create understanding -- through education about a minority and religious ethnic component of American society.

The Socio-Economic Patterns of Iraqi Jewry in the Twentieth Century - Moshe Gat

The majority of the Jews of Iraq in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries lived in three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul. In the first half of the nineteenth century a process of modernization began in the Jewish community, paralleling the policy of Westernization and modernization in the Ottoman Empire, as reflected in the Tanzimet. The Jewish community was declared a millet, a religious community enjoying internal autonomy in religion and education. Like other minorities within the empire, the Jewish community was granted equal rights and security of life and property.

The recognition of the Jewish community as a millet affected its reorganization. The hakham bashi, elected by the 80-member General Council, served as the head of the community, though actually, absolute control was in the hands of a narrow class of merchants, bankers, and rich landowners. Economically, the Jews engaged in foreign and domestic trade and in banking, two areas which they came to dominate.

The mid-nineteenth century marked the beginning of development, progress, and prosperity within the Jewish community, which was reflected both in growing economic affluence and the modernization of education. The introduction of modern education, in which the Jews preceded the Muslim society around them, inaugurated a new era of far-reaching change in the community life.

The Jews of Iraq were not characterized by any significant rifts, splits, or polarization. They succeeded in maintaining their religious framework and their collective and communal uniqueness.

The Regeneration of French Jewry: The Influx and Integration of North African Jewry into France, 1955-1965 - Michael M. Laskier

This article grapples with the impact of communal self-liquidation of North African Jewry in general and the Algerian diaspora in particular, during the 1950s and 1960s, based on new, primary source materials -- the emigration destination being France. The influx and integration of North African Jews into France during this period provoked a revolution in the French Jewish community, leading to the demographic domination of the North African Jewish component of French Jewry, after that community was dominated for many years by the Germanic and Eastern European components. What were some of the causes for emigration into France? What challenges were posed by French society for the new arrivals? What were the emigrants' contributions to the geographical expansion of French Jewry, and to Jewish communal life in France? These and other aspects featured in this study are part of a book manuscript in progress, entitled: The Jews of France and their Social and Political Transformation: 1945-1995.

A Rabbinical Revolution? Religion, Power and Politics in the Contemporary Ukrainian Jewish Movement - Vladimir Khanin

The role of the "religious element" in the contemporary Ukrainian Jewish movement is examined in the wider context of Jewish politics in that country. Analyses focus on the reasons for and objectives of the political advancement of Ukrainian rabbinic leaders in the second half of the 1990s and the growth of their influence on Jewish community-building in post-Soviet Ukraine. Also discussed is the political nature of the rabbinic leadership and the place of Jewish spiritual leaders as a ruling group within the disposition of political forces in the local Jewish community.

Power and Spirituality in the Thought of Hans J. Morgenthau - M. Ben Mollov

Hans J. Morgenthau's legacy has been undergoing a scholarly reevaluation. From an earlier perception of Morgenthau as a one-dimensional advocate of pure realpolitik, more recent scholarly literature has been emphasizing significant transcendent themes in Morgenthau's thought, that reflect his concerns relating to the importance of morality in statecraft, man's philosophic quest, and even spirituality. Drawing on his teaching, unpublished works, and lesser known published works, this work contends that Morgenthau had significant spiritual concerns that underlined his assumptions about man's behavior in the political realm, upon which his understanding of international behavior was ultimately based. Morgenthau's sensitivity to spiritual concerns also seemed to run parallel to his strong sense of Jewish identification which he expressed during the course of his lifetime and in particular through his involvement with the causes of Soviet Jewry and Israel, during the final decade of his life.

It is argued here, that Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr had a significant impact on Morgenthau, with whom he believed that without an understanding of the spiritual forces which drive man, man, his power seeking, and his political behavior in society could not be fully understood.

Walls and Boundaries in Rabbinic-Biblical Foreign Policy: A Psychological Analysis - Kalman J. Kaplan and Matthew B. Schwartz

This essay extends an interpersonal model to rabbinic interpretation of biblical foreign policy. Specifically, a wall- boundary analysis is made of ancient Israel's relation to four categories of nations: (a) Amalek and the Canaanites, (b) Ammon and Moab, (c) Edom and Egypt, and (d) the other nations. King Saul's counternormative behavior is discussed toward (a) King Agag of Amalek and (b) the Hebrew priests of God at Nob. Wall permeability becomes normative with an unassaulted inner boundary. When the boundary is under assault, however, wall permeability is expressly forbidden.