June 9, 2009 | Prof. Ira M. Sheskin
More than 50 American Jewish Federations completed local Jewish community studies from 1993 to 2008. The principal purpose of this paper is to illustrate the utility of these studies. Part I cites examples of how the results of these studies have been utilized to guide Jewish community decision-making at the national and local levels. Part II forwards a series of additional arguments in support of completing local Jewish community studies.
The Impact of Denomination: Differences in the Israel-Related Opinions of American Rabbis and Jewish Communal Workers
Jewish professional communal leaders differ from the Jewish public in that they are more Jewishly knowledgeable, involved, and committed. This study reports on survey data collected in 1987 from these leaders? American rabbis and Jewish communal workers ? subdivided along denominational lines. It confirms the near demise of any distinctive position of communal workers and underlines the importance of denominational or religious identity as a variable in predicting attitudes toward Israel. Analyzed areas of behavior include frequency of travel to Israel and contact with Israelis. Attitudes investigated dealt with Zionist commitment, Israeli foreign policy and political personalities, the acceptability of public criticism of Israel, and religious pluralism.