October 4, 1989
A convergence of three developments ? the American Jewish community's maturing self-awareness, the growth of Jewish communal service as a professional field, and the emergence of Jewish political studies as an academic discipline ? makes possible a new emphasis on serious study of the Jewish political tradition as a key component in thetraining of Jewish communal professionals. Jewish political studies can provide these professionals (and lay leaders) with a knowledge base and perspectives that link Jewish values and historical experience to contemporary issues of communal organization, process, and policy. Experiences in both academic and non-academic settings have shown that a thematic, issue-oriented approach to teaching the Jewish political tradition can enhance lay and professional leaders' sense of authenticity and effectiveness as Jewish leaders.