Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Daniel Elazar Papers Index

Jewish Political Thought

Kinship and Consent:
The Jewish Political Tradition
and Its Contemporary Uses

Daniel J. Elazar

Politics is, in many respects, the Cinderella of Jewish studies. Much attention has been lavished on the development of Jewish religious, legal, and social practice; probably even more has been written about the history of Jewish Gentile relations. By comparison, the study of the Jewish political tradition -- with all that it entails for an understanding of Jewish modes of self-government, Jewish political perceptions, and Jewish political responsibilities -- remains an almost uncharted area.

This omission is surprising. Concerns of an intrinsically political nature, have, after all, constantly lain at the very heart of much Jewish thought and practice. Traditionally, indeed, the validity of Jewish teaching has always been considered to find best expression in a political setting, through a polity in which Jews bear the responsibility for creating the "kingdom of heaven" (Hebrew: malkhut shamayim -- the good commonwealth) on earth. Hence, the Bible is replete with examples of political behavior and contains seminal ideas concerning political organization and obligation. In turn, these are reflected and quoted in later texts of Jewish law. Furthermore, and as the entire chronicle of the Jewish diaspora experience indicates, Jewish political practice did not come to an abrupt end with the destruction of the Temple and the subsequent Exile of the Jews from the Holy Land. Throughout their dispersion, the Jews continued to develop and embellish distinctive patterns of communal government, and it was in accordance with these that communal authority was conferred and accepted.

Total uniformity was, of course, impossible. Geographical, temporal and cultural circumstances compelled individual communities to develop in different ways. What is remarkable, nevertheless, is the extent of the similarities and continuities in the political practices of the Jewish people, and the degree to which those practices remained faithful to a commonly acknowledged source. A survey of legal, homiletic and philosophical literature reveals the preservation of a shared Jewish political terminology, a distinctive Jewish political outlook, and a common approach to political institution-building. In short, it confirms the existence of a specifically Jewish political tradition, with all that the term implies in the way of a continuous dialogue regarding proper and common modes of political behavior, accepted institutional forms, and authentic political norms.

There exists a sad irony in the fact that the very existence of a Jewish political tradition should have gone virtually unrecognized in our own time. It might have been expected that the Jewish national revival of the twentieth century would have generated attempts to enhance public awareness of the political tradition of which it forms a part. In effect, the operational resurgence of the concept of a Jewish polity in the modern State of Israel has not been accompanied by an awareness of its historical parallels and roots. Concentrating their focus on what is novel in the present Jewish institutions in Israel and the diaspora, past and present; equally obscured is the evidence which indicates that contemporary Jewry functions -- for the most part unconsciously -- in the political arena in no small measure on the basis of certain fundamental beliefs and practices which are embedded in Jewish culture. There has been very little regard for the fact that the present behavioral patterns of the Jewish political world, revolutionary though some of them might seem, are in essence extensions and modifications of a tradition which possesses deep roots in the entire course of Jewry's long and eventful history.

Attempting to correct this situation has initiated a systematic effort to recover the several dimensions of the Jewish political tradition.1 One purpose of this venture is, clearly, scholarly: the desire to demonstrate the extent to which the Jewish political tradition constitutes an integral segment of the entire fabric of Jewish tradition, a sine qua non of that tradition given Jewry's hallowed commitment to peoplehood and the attainment of Divine redemption through the creation of the "kingdom of heaven" -- the good commonwealth -- on earth. No less compelling, however, is the contemporary communal importance of the Center's enterprise. As is often acknowledged, an increasing number of Jews find themselves expressing their Jewish identity principally or substantially through their identification with Jewish political issues -- support for Israel, the struggle for the emigration of Soviet Jewry, and the like. In this respect, they may be described as neo-Sadducees, Jews who find their principal means for expressing Jewishness through the public institutions and affairs of the Jewish people. For such people, linkage to the Jewish political tradition may constitute a primary medium of linking them to Jewish tradition in its entirety. Awareness of the tradition, and an understanding of its resonance, promises in effect to enhance and buttress Jewish self-consciousness in our times, and thereby to play a crucial role in contemporary Jewish life in both Israel and the diaspora.

It is in the light of such considerations that it is appropriate to build a comprehensive and fully integrated program in the Jewish political tradition and its contemporary uses. Drawing upon the vast storehouse of accumulated Jewish historiography, and utilizing the methodologies more recently developed in the political and social sciences, such a program can arouse contemporary awareness of both the importance and relevance of the topic. This is a venture which must, of necessity, engage the attention of Jewish political and communal leaders, as well as academics. Such a program will not only fill a scholarly lacunai, but also should make a contribution to the continuing development of a tradition of enduring worth.

Jewish political studies emphasizes the organization of the Jewish community as a polity -- a corporate entity whose structure, institutions and processes have reflected the continuing effort of the Jewish people to govern itself under a variety of conditions. As a field, it is designed to recover and enrich the political dimensions of Jewish life in all its manifestations.

The subject matter of Jewish political studies falls into three major divisions: Jewish political institutions and behavior, Jewish political thought, and Jewish public affairs. At least nineteen areas of concern have been identified on the basis of these divisions as reflected in the literature currently available. They include:

Civic Education
Contemporary Issues
Country, Community and Area Studies
Defining the Boundaries of Jewish Society
External Relations
Intercommunity Relations
Jewish Organizations and Interest Groups
Jewish Political and Communal Institutions
Jewish Political Behavior
Jewish Political Culture
Jewish Political Organization
Jewish Political Thought
Jewish Public Law
Public Personalities
Religious Movements, Ideologies and Public Persuasions
Research Approaches and Methods
Subdivisions of the Jewish People
The Course of Jewish Public Affairs

There are four primary tasks that should occupy the field:

(i) Investigation - research into Jewish political theory and practice, past and present, and the development of Jewish attitudes towards the exercise of political prerogatives.

(ii) Interpretation - the analysis of Jewish political behavior and its meaning in light of the constitutional bases and divisions of the Jewish polity.

(iii) Policy Application - the utilization of scholarship in Jewish public affairs.

(iv) Presentation - the dissemination of the fruits of ongoing research to a variety of audiences -- academic, professional, and general.

I. Investigation

Not the least of the achievements of the first two decades of systematic study of Jewish political life and thought has been the development of frameworks of analysis which have facilitated an informed understanding of major trends in Jewish political life. By positing the notion of a continuous tradition of Jewish political behavior, and by highlighting the importance of the covenant idea within that tradition, it has been possible to focus attention on the basic elements of the subject and, thereby, to fashion tools for its further study.

Such study has proceeded along three parallel lines.

(i) Delineation of the field of Jewish political studies, in the form of thematic enquiries into various of the component elements of the Jewish political tradition and its manifestations. Many of these have been undertaken within the framework of the Jerusalem Center's two workshops in the Covenant Idea and the Jewish Political Tradition and in the Study and Teaching of Jewish Political Studies, the latter co-sponsored with the International Center for the University Teaching of Jewish Civilization. During the past few years, an entire series of such studies have appeared: some in the form of the Center's working papers; others in scholarly journals; and in a growing number of books, including Kinship and Consent and The Jewish Polity.2 Scholarly bibliographies also have appeared, in the American Jewish Year Book series of articles on the literature of Jewish public affairs, prepared by Daniel J. Elazar and Harold M. Waller between 1967 and 1976, and in Mala Tabory and Charles S. Liebman's Jewish International Activity and Annotated Bibliography.3 These publications now constitute an impressive corpus of seminal studies, which have both explored the subject as a field of enquiry and mapped its most significant manifestations.

(2) A worldwide study of the structure and functioning of contemporary Jewish communities as polities. Initiated by the Study of Jewish Community Organization, the precursor of the Jerusalem Center, in 1968, this project has now encompassed every major community in the Jewish world, and thereby constitutes an invaluable map of the post World War II Jewish polity. It has led to the publication of several books, including Community and Polity, People and Polity, and Israel: Building a New Society; a series of country reports, monographs, and special issues of Tefutzot Israel, which, during its existence, was Israel's leading academic journal in this field.4

(3) A historical survey of the entire course of Jewish political organization from biblical times until the present day. Among the products of this project is The Jewish Polity, the very first attempt to present a comprehensive picture of the political systems through which the Jewish polity has governed itself from biblical times until the present day. In its substance, that work aspires to conform to the strict standards of political and historical enquiry. Where it breaks new ground, however, is in its deliberate emphasis on the political facet of Jewish history, and in its emphasis on the re-interpretive implications of its approach. Thus, while it acknowledges it debt to previous Jewish historical scholarship, it is not bound by the historiographical categories usually dictated by the conventions of the field. Rather, it posits somewhat different points of reference.

Most conspicuously is this so in the thorny matter of chronological divisions. The various conventional breakdowns are superseded by a more refined typology based on the rhythms of political life; apportioning Jewish history into 14 constitutional epochs, each of approximately three centuries duration, each of which can be seen to possess a distinct political character of its own. Each epoch in fact represents a particular Jewish constitutional response, or series of connected responses, to challenges from within the Jewish polity itself and from outside of it. What distinguishes each epoch from its predecessor and successor is the nature of its basic constitutional referents: the documents, customs, and practices that provided the organic or fundamental laws of the Jewish people of the time and served as the framework of its socio-political organization and development.

The issue of constitutionalism and constitutional change is central to the study of Jewish political history in its entirety and provides a base for its periodization. Basically, this is because the Jewish constitution has differed from modern constitutions, most significantly because of its all-embracing character. It is not confined to the delineation of the political power of a secular society, but extends into virtually all phases of life. A study of constitutionalism in Jewish history, accordingly, must embrace far more than the record of specific fundamental political laws. A reconstruction of the political constitution of any particular period of Jewish history must come to terms with the entire range of communal living during that time, and thereby provide a framework that can encompass virtually all aspects of Jewish civilization.

The Torah is, in this respect, both an exemplar and a touchstone. It is an organic and all-embracing law. For the vast majority of Jewish history and by the vast majority of the Jewish people, it has been perceived to be of Divine origin. On both counts, the Torah must be regarded as the basic and foremost constitutional document of Jewish history. Its subsequent modifications and/or amplifications must, therefore, be considered to have been necessitated by overwhelming pressures for constitutional change. All subsequent constitutional referents claim, explicitly or implicitly, to maintain the traditions embodied in the Torah: but all nevertheless do so in a manner which supplements and redirects the original in line with the pressures of contemporary conditions. Thus the Mishnah, Gemara, and the great halakhic codes represent such adjustments, from one epoch to another.

Although there exists no compilation comparable to The Jewish Polity, that work clearly cannot claim to be more than a first step towards a complete study of the subject. Principally, this is because of the paucity of historical attention to the subject hitherto. We had to begin our investigation from primary sources and scattered secondary works not designed for the purposes to which the study is directed. It is in that sense that the contribution of the work lies as much in its notation of scholarly lacunae (of which there are many) as in its summary of received historical wisdoms (of which there are very few). It offers an agenda for investigation, not least by locating and identifying the most prominent gaps in our present knowledge.

These initial efforts need to be supplemented with a number of urgently necessary projects:

1. The compilation of a comprehensive, annotated Bibliography of Jewish Political Studies designed to provide students of the field with a readily available index to all published studies on Jewish political behavior, institutions, and thought, in general, and epoch by constitutional epoch and arena by organizational arena. It is an indication of the under-developed state of the field that no such essential research aid yet exists.

2. Compilation of a Sourcebook of Jewish Constitutional Documents as a companion to The Jewish Polity. This, too, can be classified as a necessary tool for further investigation and a valuable stimulant to further enquiry. The Sourcebook should present documents illustrative of Jewish constitutional development from the entire body of recorded Jewish culture. The scan must, or necessity, be far-ranging. As has often been pointed out, the Jewish political tradition includes relatively few works which represent fully articulated, systematic statements of Jewish political thought. Even those that might thus be identified are too dispersed to merit their consideration as linearly progressive statements of political doctrine. The Jewish 'style' in such matters is usually eclectic, and consists of refractory comments on matters of political import rather than reasonably architectured statements of political doctrine. Most important of all, the Jewish political tradition has usually been articulated in the institutional and behavioral dimensions of communal life, and it is to documents which illustrate those dimensions that attention must be called.

Ultimately, therefore, the selection will not only include immediately appropriate citations from biblical and Mishnaic sources; it will also incorporate quotations from the vast literature of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud; the great halakhic codes; the entire tradition of rabbinic responsa; various communal and synodal takkanot (ordinances); modern rabbinic pronouncements; communal manifestos; organizational directives; and -- in the case of the State of Israel -- governmental decrees. Even thus baldly to recite the potential source literature is to reveal the magnitude (and importance) of the undertaking. Few of these sources have been mined from a political perspective -- even though research has already dispelled all possible doubts that they might profitably be so mined. Simply rescuing such materials from the obscurity to which they have hitherto been condemned, and attaching to them discreet explanatory notes and short biographical profiles, will make an important contribution to Jewish scholarship.

3. The Structure and Functioning of Jewish Communities. Notwithstanding the vast number of community studies to have appeared during the past century, there still exists a need for a systematic historical examination of the institutional and political dynamics of Jewish life throughout the course of its evolution based on the canons of political science. No less necessary are analytical examinations of the contemporary Jewish world, which might throw light on the nature and form of present Jewish government in both Israel and the diaspora.

What most studies to date have provided consists, in effect, of little more than raw materials -- and even then, much of the data is lacking and what there is, is still being collated. The information presently available has now to be reexamined and then restructured, in order that it might present a consolidated picture of the functions and services performed by various agencies within and across Jewish communities throughout the world.5

4. The Jewish Language of Politics. The absence of a lexicon of Jewish political terms constitutes yet another lacuna of the field. The omission is particularly deplorable, since it is the language of political discourse -- the manner whereby key terms are coined, adapted, and sometimes discarded -- which provides one of the most important keys to an understanding of the concepts which they attempt to transmit. Consequently, a historical dictionary of such terms promises to provide a mirror to the development of the Jewish political tradition in its entirety.

Some initial steps have been taken in this direction. The Jerusalem Center has compiled a file index of some fifty major Jewish political terms, noting their frequencies, contexts and connotations. Making use of this information, The Jewish Polity further listed Jewish political terms (old, new, changed, foreign derivatives) epoch by constitutional epoch. Among the initial works in this field are Lawrence Berman's Lexicon of Medieval Terms (Stanford, 1973), and Gordon Freeman's The Heavenly Kingdom, Rabbinic Political Thought (University Press of America/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 1985).6 Here, too, however, scholarship can claim to have done no more than scratch the surface of a very deep mine. Yet to be explored in a systematic fashion are the vast storehouses of the Jewish tradition: the Bible, the Talmuds, the great halakhic codes, and the responsa. Now that many of these materials can be computerized, students of the field can look forward to both mastering them and examining them for their specifically political content. In this connection, the Responsa Project at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, is a vital resource.

5. Studies of Jewish Political Personalities. Who have been the principal architects of Jewish constitutional development throughout the ages? Who have played roles as statesmen, leading the edah and its subdivisions within the constitutional framework in which they find themselves? Who have cast their eyes upon Jewish constitutional materials and their implications for the polity, acting as influential commentators on what they see rather than as either a shaper or moulder of constitutional developments?

The Jewish Polity was probably the first work of its kind to ask such questions, and to present such a categorization. the findings there presented have now to be tested and pursued. What this involves is far more than individual studies of whoever is deemed to have been a "prominent personality" in Jewish history. The need is for essentially political biographies, which stress -- not only the 'life' of their subjects, but also the "constitutional times" within which such lives were lived.

6. Jewish Political Parties. Whatever the truth in the conventional notion that the Jews have always been a factious people, there is no doubt that the formation of particular parties (and in some epochs entire 'camps' of parties) has constituted a particularly dominant characteristic of Jewish constitutional history. Indeed, it can be claimed that the great turning points of that unfolding story can be traced almost entirely to the divisive effect exerted on the entire Jewish polity by crucial questions of essentially constitutional import. For example, one need only examine the history of the division of the two kingdoms after the death of King Solomon; the break between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; the Rabbanite campaign against the Karaites; the conflict between Hassidim and Mitnagdim; and the rift caused by the appearance of political Zionism.

There are a few studies of Jewish parties and politics in distinct periods but no systematic study exists of the phenomenon of Jewish political parties and their impact.7 The phenomenon and its various manifestations need to be examined, not as isolated incidents, but as parts of a pattern whose effects have made themselves felt upon the Jewish political tradition throughout the ages.

II. Interpretation

The accumulation of additional knowledge is but an essential preliminary to an analysis of the information thus obtained. Jewish political studies is not to be regarded as a progression of attested "facts;" it is to be perceived as a finely-balanced testimony to a particularly Jewish perspective on governance, each stage of which reflects a basically continuous affirmation and application of constitutional principles which lie at the very heart of the Jewish experience.

This requires development of a conceptual framework which gives form to the mass of data, and supplies hypotheses for its further analysis and interpretation in terms which speak to the present Jewish condition. By asking incisive questions of the material which has been hitherto gathered, it has been possible to identify the existence of distinctive bases of Jewish political action. In so doing, we have begun to formulate models of analysis which are as exciting and instructive as they are informative.

Those models have now to be tested and refined, and then so coordinated that they might facilitate the formulation of a comprehensive scheme for the systemic mapping of the Jewish polity. It is of the essence of the scheme outlined here that the two ventures proceed simultaneously. While it is the historical and contemporary evidence which must provide the bedrock of all theoretical postulates, it is the very existence of such postulates which must inform and enlighten the enquiry.

While this matrix is not to be regarded as a procrustean bed, to which each and every instance of Jewish political behavior must necessarily conform, we believe that it does encompass the most pertinent coordinates of the field. Not only has it hitherto stood the test of preliminary -- but rigorous -- historical investigation; it has also, and more significantly, helped to deepen our enquiry by taking due account of the emphasis within Judaism on God's sovereignty and Jewish peoplehood and of the consequent constancy of Jewish political concerns.

A brief review of the points along the two axes in the present matrix provides an indication of the avenue of enquiry to be explored. Its starting point (as is indicated by the "temporal" division) is chronological -- a division of Jewish history into the fourteen constitutional epochs to which reference has been made above. Thereafter, however, it advocates the adoption of an analytical approach to take appropriate advantage of recent methodological and conceptual advances in the scientific study of politics. It proposes, in effect, the study of "problems" rather than of "periods" (a guideline which most historians would in any case now unhesitatingly accept) and the removal thereby of some of the blinkers of historiographical traditions which have hitherto prevented due recognition of broad currents and backwater ripples of Jewish political life.

Every political tradition, it is here suggested, rests upon certain assumptions about the nature of man, government, and politics; the role of law; and the character of justice. Central to the dialogue that informs every political tradition is the attempt to wrestle with the questions which arise from such postulates: what constitutes political authority and obligation? who governs? who gets what from the polity? when and how are those advantages obtained? Such questions -- together with the terminology in which they are phrased -- possess numerous ramifications, all of which have to be explored if the political tradition in its entirety is to be properly understood and appreciated. In the particular case of the Jewish political tradition, that exploration might best be pursued by noting the particularities of Jewish constitutional requirements and the distinctive characteristics of Jewish political organizations and forms.

First among the former is the covenantal (otherwise federal) base of the Jewish political tradition. Fundamental to any analysis of this coordinate is a recognition of the Jewish teaching that the universe and all its parts are under Divine sovereignty (malkhut shamayim) and hence that all human institutions possess only delegated authority and powers. that is the essence of Jewish theocracy. In fact, the good political order is, in the Jewish view, a complex of interlocking authorities whose legitimacy is derived from a distinct and explicit covenant-established partnership between God and man. In some cases, the former elects and the latter ratifies, and in others the process is reversed; but in every one the two sides of the partnership are somehow represented. Part of the theocratic character of the Jewish political tradition is indeed reflected in a constant tension between the Divine (shamayim or theo) and rule (malkhut or cratos) which must be reconciled by federal or covenantal linkage.8

Covenant theology has become sufficiently common coin in the last decade or two in Jewish circles, so that the idea itself is hardly foreign even to those who were brought up in a different generation of Jewish intellectual endeavor when that vital aspect of the biblical teaching was overlooked.9 What is suggested here is that there exists a strong political dimension to the covenant idea, and that covenants themselves have consistently served as the principal instruments for shaping Jewish political institutions and relationships.

Our research to date already indicates that Jewish political institutions and behavior have remained remarkably faithful to this covenantal base. These give expression to the concept of political relationships as the embodiment of a partnership based on a morally-grounded pact and, like all partnerships, oriented towards decision- and policy-making through negotiation and bargaining. It is, indeed, by studying those arrangements that we can measure the continuing expressions of the tradition and identify its principal constitutional referents.

Like all great ideas, the basic simplicity of the notion of covenant masks important complexities. The term brit (covenant) conveys the sense of both separation and linkage, cutting and binding. A covenant creates a perpetual (or at least indefinitely continuing) bond between parties having independent but not necessarily equal status. That bond is based upon mutual obligations and a commitment to undertake joint action to achieve certain defined ends which may be limited or comprehensive, under conditions of mutual respect in such a way as to protect the fundamental integrity of all parties involved. Here the concept of hesed (covenantal obligation) also plays a crucial role, since it provides the basis for the operational dynamics of the covenantal relationship. It underscores the need for a wide and generous response among b'nei brit (covenant partners) and for a brake on the natural human inclination in contractual situations to interpret contractual obligations as narrowly as possible. It is here proposed to examine the multiplicity of Jewish institutional arrangements wish such considerations in mind, and thereby to underscore the recurrence of the covenantal paradigm in structurally analogous examples of community organization.

An enquiry of that nature promises to be most profitable when allied to an examination of the constitutional, linguistic, conceptual and political-cultural categories, for it is these which provide pivotal points of reference for an appreciation of the organic character of the Jewish political tradition. A political analysis of the principal constitutional issues and norms of any single epoch, for instance, will not only reveal their grainy particularity. It will also illustrate the manner in which individual constitutional referents reflected contemporary interpretations of the constitutional framework in its entirety and attest to the manner in which their framers struggled to make their own adaptations conform to the mainstream of traditional Jewish political discourse.

Within the same context, specific attention must also be paid to the terminology of Jewish political language. The texts of any particular epoch have to be read as much for their language as for what they purport to inform us about political practices and events. Following Max Kadushin, among them are value concepts, terms and phrases bearing especially illuminating political content.10 It is already apparent that some of these have remained virtually unchanged in meaning and form since the days of the Bible (which, indeed, remains the primary source for Hebrew political terms); others are of more recent invention and adoption; in certain cases, old terms have been suffused with new -- sometimes radically new -- meaning. A comprehensive lexicon of Jewish political terminology has to be compiled for the full implications of the phenomena of Jewish political language to be properly assessed.

Appropriate note can be taken of the operational manner in which the bases of Jewish political action have been implemented throughout the various epochs of Jewish constitutional history. Its starting point is, once again, faithful to the classic sources of Jewish political doctrine: the notion that polities (kibbutzim mediniim) are extensions of the original, Divinely-inspired covenantal relationships of their constituents. There is, therefore, no "state" in the Jewish political tradition, in the sense of a reified entity complete in and of itself. Classically, only God is sovereign. In accordance with His covenant with Israel, God has entrusted the exercise of many of His sovereign powers of governing to the people as a whole. Ultimately, therefore, human authority for fundamental decision-making -- in accordance with the Torah-as-constitution -- resides in the entire edah (commonwealth), invariably defined as including all adult males and best rendered as a polity of equals based on consent.

The Bible provides several illustrations of the manner in which the edah as a whole was responsible in ancient Israel for actions of a primary constitutional character: the territorial division of the Promised Land, the election of Kings, the ratification of covenants. As that source itself indicates, however, the edah was not the only possible arena of Jewish political organization; there also existed subsidiary congregational forms (initially of a familial and tribal pattern), which are here defined as kehillot (local communities) and medinot or aratzot (regional frameworks of governance or congeries of kehillot). To some extent these arenas constituted adaptations of covenantal arrangements and the manner whereby the relationship between such constituent parts of the edah was -- and is -- periodically adjusted in response to temporal and regional circumstances. Accordingly, it traces the emergence, virtual disappearance and (in our own day) re-emergence of the concept of the edah as an operational or organizational expression of the Jewish polity; the extension in mandatory power of the local kehillah (especially during Epoch XI); and the fortunes of various medinot or aratzot, several of which at various times vied for hegemony over the edah as a whole (as did Israel and Judah in Epoch IV; Eretz Yisrael and Bavel in Epoch IX; and the State of Israel and the Jewish community of the United States in our own day).

Each of the arenas here outlined has consistently adhered to the constitutional principles of Jewish political practice (even the terminology of congregational organization reflects its covenantal orientation; among Sephardic kehillot, for example, the articles of agreement establishing congregations are know as askamot -- a term that has an explicitly covenantal derivation and significance). Nevertheless, substance must not be confused with structure. In fact, no single form of political organization is mandated by Jewish law or Jewish tradition. A proper Jewish polity is one which embraces a proper set of relationships, rather than any particular structure.

Within every arena of Jewish political organization, authority and power are distributed among several reshuyot (governmental authorities). From the time of the foundation of the edah in Sinai, these have been clustered into three sets of authoritative combinations, each with its own direct source of Divine authority. During Epoch VII (the period of the Second Commonwealth), these three authoritative combinations were designated ketarim (literally "crowns" -- a term which itself expressed the theory that each possessed a separate grant of authority from God through its own covenant). Following the traditional texts, the Sinai covenant can be understood to have established the keter torah; the covenant with Aaron, the keter kehunah; and the covenants with Abraham, Joshua and David, the keter malkhut.

The immediate manifestations of the ketarim are easily apparent; but each should also be understood to possess a larger significance. The keter torah embodies the means whereby programmatic expression is given to Israel's Divine constitutional teaching; the keter kehunah the means whereby God and the edah are brought into close proximity through shared rituals and symbolic expressions; the keter malkhut constitutes the vehicle whereby civil authority exercises power within the edah. This unique tripartite division of authority allows the Jewish polity to encompass far more than the narrow functions of contemporary political systems. In effect, it embraces means of governance that extend beyond the normal range of the modern state. Through the three ketarim, the multifaceted character of the Jewish people finds political as well as religious expression -- and in a way which constitutionalizes power-sharing. Moreover, each keter possesses a share in the governance of the edah, through the institutions and officers that are empowered by it.

A series of specific studies prepared under the auspices of the Jerusalem Center has already demonstrated the rich extent of this particular lode. It has been argued, for instance, that what distinguishes the division of authority among the ketarim from conventional separation of powers systems is that the ketarim address themselves principally to the source, character and purpose of authority, and only secondarily to issues of function (e.g. executive, legislative, judicial). Each possesses distinct prerogatives, but each also possesses discretionary powers which entitle it to range beyond the strict boundaries of its own functional demesne. Governmental functions, therefore, are usually shared by two or more of the ketarim. From time to time, the institutions which embody each interchange acquire a share in more than one "crown," as a consequence of certain historical circumstances; but the basic tripartite division constantly reasserts itself. The matrix here presented suggests a means whereby such changes might be identified and accounted for. It also suggests a means whereby changes within each keter, and in the relationships between ketarim can, at each level of Jewish political organization, be related to simultaneous developments of perspective and alignment throughout the Jewish political world.11

One principal motor of such changes is located along the axes of the "Ideological" and "Party" divisions within the polity. These are organizational categories which help to give generic definition to the religious and political groupings which -- at various times -- have competed for control of the governing institutions of the edah. As such, they also serve to give conceptual form to what would otherwise appear to be the random (and sometimes maverick) variations in intra-Jewish political tussles. The various constitutional issues which brought about the emergence of such factions, and their changing compositions, might also serve to refine various other points along the two axes of the present matrix, and thereby reflect the enormously rich texture of the Jewish political tradition in its entirety. By viewing the struggle between the Sadducees and Pharisees of Epoch VII, for instance (or, for that matter, between the Rabbanites and Karaites of Epoch X; the Hassidim and mitnagdim of Epoch XII; or the "nationalist" and "assimilationist" schools of modernity) as distinct political expressions of an on-going constitutional tension, we can broaden our perspectives of the entire Jewish experience in times modern as well as ancient. Thus observed, the Jewish people cease to be unidimensional and tradition-bound, with predictable divisions and stagnant concerns. Instead, they are revealed for what they in effect have always been -- a vigorous, sensitive, and dynamic (even populist) polity, with their own political traditions and constitutional values.

The process of "interpretation" itself necessitates a degree of communication between scholars. If their work is to be improved (indeed, if it is ever to reach fruition) they need to be provided with appropriate channels and forums, through and at which they might take exploratory 'soundings' with their colleagues and peers. These include:

2.1 A continuing workshop in Jewish political studies. Meeting at regular intervals since 1981, the members of this forum constitute a permanent body of scholars, who meet to survey and evaluate research-in-progress and to map areas of research to be undertaken.

2.2 Smaller working groups, meeting at irregular intervals to pursue particular aspects of the work.

2.3 Conferences - larger gatherings, that include invited scholars whose principal fields of expertise lie in fields adjacent to Jewish political studies itself. The papers delivered at these gatherings constitute springboards for further debate, criticism, and investigation. Topics that have been addressed to date through these gatherings include: "Jewish Political Studies as a Field of Inquiry," "Modes of Expression of the Jewish Political Tradition," "Critical Issues in Jewish Political Life," "External and Internal Influences on Modes of Jewish Political Expression," "Integrating Jewish Political Studies into the General Political Science Curriculum," "The Influence of the Jewish Political Tradition on the Modern State of Israel," and "Jewish and General Influences on the Constitutional Documents of Contemporary Jewry." Most have been or will be published as special issues of this journal.

III. Policy Application

It is by now a commonplace to talk of the political re-awakening of the Jewish people during recent decades. Less frequently articulated, because more obscure, are the implications of that phenomenon and its bearings on the central issue of Jewish identity in our times. Fundamental to the investigation of these phenomena is a recognition of the remarkable efforts presently being undertaken throughout the Jewish world to refashion and reconstitute the edah. The post-modern epoch of Jewish constitutional history has witnessed the emergence of new and exciting modes of Jewish political organization, which have themselves often been reflections of the coming of age of a new Jewish political public. The revival of the political aspirations of the Jews during the twentieth century has raised anew the issue of Jewish identity in its entirety, and in so doing has opened up novel modes of its expression and enhancement.

The responsibilities which these developments impose upon Judaism are no less awesome than the opportunities which they present. Jewish communities throughout the world are now confronted with the possibility that, unless they can sensitize themselves to their root traditions and aspirations, they may fail to meet the challenge of our generation and lose touch with the developing sense of Jewish citizenship apparent throughout their various domains. This is a task which awaits careful treatment by leaders and citizens of the Jewish polity alike. Both sectors need to develop a common sense of discourse, a mutual trust in the efficacy of particular institutional arrangements, and a reciprocal belief in the justice of power-sharing arrangements. In order to accomplish all of that -- and at the same time to preserve the unique attribute of their Jewishness -- they need primarily to share an acquaintance with the Jewish political tradition and its sources. Such an acquaintance might transmit to them both a sense of civic responsibility and an agenda for civic behavior. It will endow Jewish leaders (both voluntary and professional) with an understanding of their functions and Jewish citizens with and awareness of their own rights and duties. Above all, it will bestow authenticity upon the entire enterprise of Jewish political behavior and self-government.

While the successful culmination of Zionist endeavors (the survival no less than the establishment of the State of Israel) has undoubtedly constituted the single most important influence on Jewish political development in recent times, it has not been the only factor working for change. Equally pervasive, although somewhat more attenuated, were the significant shifts in the demographic and organizational bases of world Jewry during modern times (trends whose pace was quickened by the Holocaust, but whose inception antedated that tragedy). These, too, necessitated the reconstitution of all Jewish life, which was expressed -- even before 1948 -- by the emergence of various multi-country associations (e.g. the Jewish Agency, the World Jewish Congress, ORT) with worldwide Jewish agendas.12 As they have become more politically self-conscious, Jews all over the world have begun to ask fundamental questions regarding the structure and dynamics of their communal life, the process of decision-making and policy formation, and the ability of their current leaders (religious and secular, lay and professional) to govern and administer the polity wisely and responsibly.

In this connection, particular cognizance must be taken of developments within the American Jewish community -- the largest, richest, and often the most intellectually fecund of all contemporary Jewish communities. Since the 1960s, especially, that community has moved towards a new understanding of itself as a polity: voluntary, ethnically, and religiously-based. It has been this heightened self-awareness of American Jewish communal organizations, particularly when allied to the compelling political realia injected into all Jewish public life by the fact of Israel's existence as a sovereign state, that has brought to the fore new concerns relative to the Jewish public agenda in its entirety.

Systematic discussion of these issues in a larger political context is still in an embryonic stage. Nevertheless, some conclusions articulated in this article are already being tentatively accepted. Principal among these is the contention that the Jewish people is what it is because being Jewish involves both kinship and consent, both a sense of common ancestry -- of family ties, as it were -- and the personal commitment to being Jewish, to continuing the Jewish heritage as a Jew's best expression of human values and pursuing a Jewish vision. Were kinship sufficient to make Jews committed to their Jewishness, it is unlikely that the questions referred to above would be considered of interest -- or even posed at all. It is precisely because being Jewish involves consent, and consenting to something means recognizing its value, that Jews -- especially in Israel and the United States -- are bothered by a whole range of questions as to who they are and where they are going. The issue of Israel-Diaspora relationships is but one of such question; the fate of Russian Jewry is another; the proper exercise of the "Jewish vote" in diaspora communities is yet a third.

If these issues are to be tackled at all effectively, Jews need to attain a better understanding of the necessary role of the political dimension of Jewish life, both in Israel and the diaspora, and the necessity to give it means for proper expression. A republican polity cannot effectively function unless its citizens are sensitive to its requirements and purposes; neither can it effectively be administered unless its leaders possess an understanding of its political dynamics and of the political traditions by which it has been shaped. Not every member of the commonwealth may require an equivalent exposure to Jewish political studies, but all need some acquaintance with the subject.

Appendix: Jewish Political Studies Publications of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/Center for Jewish Community Studies

A. Scholarly books and journals.

The publications program of the JCPA/CJCS can itself be classified under various headings, each of which reflects the opportunities which it offers for the presentation of various stages of research conducted by its Fellows and Associates.

These include:

(i) "In house" papers, distributed by the Center itself, through its various series: "Covenant Workshop Papers," "Policy Papers," and "Research Papers." Among the relevant titles which have recently appeared in this series are:

Covenant Workshop Papers:

"The Almost-Covenanted Polity" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Anarcho-Federalism of Martin Buber" by Bernard Susser
"The Concept of the Three Ketarim" by Stuart A. Cohen
"Covenant as a Utopian Concept" by Neal Riemer
"Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Covenant Idea in Modern Jewish Thought" by Pinchas Rosenblit (in Hebrew)
"The Covenant Idea in Politics" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Covenant in the Bible - Collected Sources" by Ruth Gil (in Hebrew)
"The Covenant in the Tannaitic Literature - Collected Sources" by Ruth Gil and Yehiel Rosen (in Hebrew)
"The Covenant with the Devil" by Harold Fisch (in Hebrew)
"The Duality in the Covenant Idea and Its Relationship to the Messianic Idea" by Ella Belfer (in Hebrew)
"Historical Interpretation and Political Ideology in Education in the First and Second Temple Periods" by Ella Belfer (in Hebrew)
"The History of the Political Judgement of the Jew" by Ismar Schorsch (in Hebrew)
"Jewish Political Thought and Contemporary Politics" by Dan V. Segre
"The Jewish Political Tradition as a Field of Inquiry" by Daniel J. Elazar (in Hebrew)
"The Kehillah" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Kingdom, Covenant and Lineage" by Meir Kasirer (in Hebrew)
"The Language of Jewish Political Discourse" by Gordon M. Freeman
"Maimonidies on Political Leadership" by L. Berman (in Hebrew)
"Moral Basis and Symbols in Politics" by Charles Liebman (in Hebrew)
"Notes on the Concept of Brit" by Ilan Greilsammer
"The People of Israel and the Kingdom of Heaven - Studies in Jewish Theocracy" by Ella Belfer (in Hebrew)
"The Politics of Prayer" by Gordon M. Freeman
"Prolegomena to Jewish Political Theory" by Bernard Susser and Eliezer Don-Yehiya
"The Rabbinic Understanding of Covenant as a Political Idea" by Gordon Freeman
"Secularization, Denial and Integration: Perspectives and Terminology of Orthodox Judaism in Socialist Zionism" by Eliezer Don-Yehiya (in Hebrew)
"Some Preliminary Observations on the Jewish Political Tradition" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Theocentricity in Jewish Law" by Emanuel Rackman

Policy Papers:

"Building Jewish Citizenship in the Emerging American Jewish Community" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Kinship and Consent in the Jewish Community" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Place of Jewish Political Studies on the Campus" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The State of World Jewry: A Contemporary Agenda" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Toward a Meaningful World Covenant" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Towards a Renewed Zionist Vision" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Who is a Jew: Some Political Reflections" by Charles Liebman

Research Papers:

"A Note on the Function of 'The Law of the Kingdom is the Law' in the Medieval Jewish Community" by Gerald J. Blidstein
"Dimensions of Authority in the Contemporary Jewish Community" by Charles S. Liebman
"Government in Biblical Israel" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Kehillah: From the Beginning to the End of the Modern Epoch" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Notes on Hefker Bet-Din in Talmudic and Medieval Law" by Gerald J. Blidstein
"On the Study of Financing of Jewish Community Activities" by A.A. Kessler
"The Reconstitution of Jewish Communities in the Post-War Period" by Daniel J. Elazar
"Towards a General Theory of Jewish Political Interests and Behavior" by Peter Y. Medding

(ii) Jewish Political Studies Review

As is the case in other disciplines, work on the various aspects of the Jewish political tradition tend to be published individually in a wide variety of journals. Nevertheless, in order to better organize the field and at the same time quicken interest in its development, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has launched the Jewish Political Studies Review. Initially, two double issues of the Jewish Political Studies Review will appear annually, and ultimately a quarterly publication is planned. At least half the issues will focus on specific themes, thereby building a collection of potential texts for classroom use as well.

(iii) Book and Monograph Series

Several academic publishers have undertaken publication of longer and more detailed monographs, designed to contain works of both synthesis and specific case studies -- in some cases through the efforts of the Jerusalem Center. The Center's "Jewish Communal and Public Affairs" series, published by the Jewish Publication Society of America, includes two titles to date, Community and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of the American Jewish Community by Daniel J. Elazar and the Jews of Yugoslavia, A Quest for Community by Harriet Pass Freidenreich. Fairleigh Dickenson Press has published Pressure Without Sanctions: The Influence of World Jewry on Israeli Policy by Charles S. Liebman and Existence and Utopia: The Social and Political Thought of Martin Buber by Bernard Susser.

Indiana University Press has its series in "Jewish Political and Social Studies" which to date includes the following titles:

- Religion and Politics in Israel by Charles Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehiya
- The Jewish Polity - Jewish Political Organization from Biblical Times to the Present by Daniel J. Elazar and Stuart Cohen
- Jewish Continuity and Change by Calvin Goldscheider
- Israel at the Polls, 1981 edited by Howard Penniman and Daniel J. Elazar
- Israel: Building a New Society by Daniel J. Elazar
- Sacred Survival by Jonathan Woocher
- American Assimilation or Jewish Revival? by Steven M. Cohen

The JPCA's co-publication program with University Press of America has a list of 15 titles as of 1989, including:

- The Balkan Jewish Communities edited by Daniel J. Elazar
- The Jewish Communities of Scandinavia edited by Daniel J. Elazar
- The Heavenly Kingdom: Aspects of Political Thought in the Talmud and Midrash by Gordon M. Freeman
- Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and its Contemporary Uses edited by Daniel J. Elazar
- Federalism and Political Integration edited by Daniel J. Elazar
- Self Rule/Shared Rule: Federal Solutions to the Middle East Conflict edited by Daniel J. Elazar
- Synagogue Havurot: A Comparative Study by Gerald B. Bubis and Harry Wasserman with Alan Lert
- Partners and Pursestrings: A History of the United Israel Appeal by Ernest Stock
- Project Renewal in Israel: Urban Revitalization Through Partnership by Paul King, Orli HaCohen, Hillel Frisch, and Daniel J. Elazar

The Kotler Institute for Judaism and Contemporary Thought, associated with Bar-Ilan University, has devoted several of its annual summer institutes to the Jewish political tradition, beginning in 1975 with "The Jewish Political Tradition and Its Contemporary Uses, which led to the publication of Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and its Contemporary Manifestations edited by Daniel J. Elazar. This volume brought together some of the most informed discussions on the topic. Its contents included:

"The Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition" by Daniel J. Elazar
"The Rabbinic Understanding of the Covenant" by Gordon Freeman "Prolegomena to Jewish Political Theory" by Bernard Susser and Eliezer Don-Yehiya
"Maimonides on Political Leadership" by Lawrence V. Berman "The Attitude Toward the State in Modern Jewish Thought Before Zionism" by Eliezer Schweid
"The Transition from Tribal Republic to Monarchy in Ancient Israel and its Impression on Jewish Political History" by Moshe Weinfeld
"Political Conflict and the Use of Power in the World of the Geniza" by Shlomo Dov Goitein
"On Power and Authority" Halachic Stance of the Traditional Community and Its Contemporary Implications" by Menachem Elon
"Individual and Community in the Middle Ages" by Gerald Blidstein
"Patterns of Political Organization and Leadership in Contemporary Jewish Communities" by Peter Y. Medding
"The Jewish Political Tradition as a Vehicle for Jewish Auto-Emancipation" by Dan V. Segre
"Toward a General Theory of Jewish Political Interests and Behavior in the Contemporary World" by Peter Y. Medding
"Moral and Symbolic Elements in the Politics of Israel-Diaspora Relations" by Charles S. Liebman
"Halakhah as a Ground for Creating a Shared Political Dialogue Among Contemporary Jews" by David Hartman

Other summer institutes included "Israel as a Jewish State" in 1976 and "Leadership in the Jewish Tradition" in 1977.

For a decade, literature of the field was identified on a regular basis in the biennial article of the literature of Jewish Public Affairs in the American Jewish Year Book. Estelle Burke, a professional librarian, has prepared The Literature of Jewish Public Affairs to assist librarians in classifying materials in the field.

B. University Teaching

In recent years a growing group of scholars around the world has been working together to develop the field of Jewish political studies as a fully articulated element in the Jewish studies constellation in their respective universities. Graduate and professional courses in Jewish political theory, institutions and behavior; Jewish political thought; and Jewish public policy have been established at no less than 22 institutions of higher education on five continents, beginning with Temple University in 1970. The full list of institutions includes Harvard University, Brandeis University (in two separate departments), Brown University, SUNY-Binghamton, City University of New York, New York University, University of California at Berkeley, Syracuse University, Jewish Theological Seminary, HUC-JIR, Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University (full program from B.A. through Ph.D.), Haifa University (Chair in Jewish Political Studies), Tel Aviv University, and the University of Paris. In addition, many courses in Jewish history and sociology include materials on Jewish political studies without actually identifying the courses as being within that field.

Since 1969, there have been sessions in Jewish political studies at the World Congress of Jewish Studies, now presented through an organized subsection, and since 1979, there has been a Jewish political studies interest section within the Association for Jewish Studies.

The JCPA/CJCS Workshop in the Study and Teaching of Jewish Political Studies has focused on this emerging field of academic inquiry every summer since 1981, since 1983 in conjunction with the International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, headed by Professor Moshe Davis, under the auspices of the President of Israel. Past workshops have been devoted to "Jewish Political Studies as a Field of Inquiry," "Modes of Expression of the Jewish Political Tradition," "Critical Issues in Jewish Political Life," "External and Internal Influences on Modes of Jewish Political Expression," "Integrating Jewish Political Studies into the General Political Science Curriculum," "The Influence of the Jewish Political Tradition on the Modern State of Israel," and "Jewish and General Influences on the Constitutional Documents of Contemporary Jewry."

As a result of all this activity, there now exists both a need and an opportunity to make available a series of textbooks, student manuals and teachers' guides in the subject matter of the fields.

While every teacher develops his or her own course syllabi, a model introductory course based on the ideas presented in this article could be helpful. The syllabus for such a course should include:

1. Introduction - The Jewish People as a Political Community
2. The Units of Political Analysis: Kibbutz Medini, Medinah and Am
3. The Edah: The Jewish People as a Body Politic
4. Brit: Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition
5. The Two Faces of Politics: Tzedek V'Otzmah
6. Authority and Power (Smakhut V'Otzmah)
7. The Three Ketarim (Crowns): The Basic Division of Powers
8. Individual and Community (Yahid VeTzibbur)
9. The Jewish Political Tradition
10. The Jewish Political Tradition and the State of Israel
11. The Constitutional Basis of Adat Bnei Yisrael
12. The Arenas of Political Organization: Edah, Medinah (Eretz), Kehillah
13. Constitutional Epochs
14. The Epochs of the Bible (3,4,5)
15. The Epochs of the Compilation and Adoption of the Talmud (6,7,8,9)
16. The Epochs of the Codes (10,11,12)
17. The Modern and Post-Modern Epochs
18. Basic Functions in the Political Framework of the Edah
19. The Processes of Governing: Attaining Office
20. Political Dynamics: Leadership
21. Political dynamics: Legislation and Adjudication
22. Political Dynamics: Camps and Parties
23. Political Dynamics: Political Contests Between Leadership Groups
24. Israel and the Jewish Political Tradition: The Conflict of Political Cultures
25. The Institutions of the State and the Jewish Political Tradition
26. Israel and the Diaspora
27. Summarizing and Concluding Session

C. Participating Audiences among Jewish Leadership

The leadership of the Jewish people, political, civic (referred to as voluntary in the United States and honorary in the other English-speaking countries), and members of the professional civil service, constitute a growing audience, many of whose members occupy positions of crucial importance in the local, state, and national arenas of Jewish public life. It is precisely the content and perspective of Jewish political studies which might break down these three components and provide a necessary service to professional education, by showing the connection between past and present Jewish experience and by relating both to concrete issues of Jewish political organization, process, and policy.

Programs in Jewish political organization and leadership might consist of:

(i) A short historical introduction to the Jewish political tradition, e.g.:

1. Covenanting with God: Abraham through David
2. Kings, Priests, Prophets: Solomon to the Hasmoneans
3. Rabbis and Rebels: From the Hasmoneans to the Rabbanites
4. Communities as Polities: Sepharad and Ashkenaz
5. Codifiers and their Critics: From Maimonides to Mendelssohn
6. The Jewish Political tradition and the Challenge of Modernity and Post Modernity: From Mendelssohn to the 1980's and Beyond.

(ii) A short thematic introduction to the field, i.e.:

1. Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition
2. Power-Sharing in Jewish Life: The Three Ketarim
3. The Jewish Language of Politics
4. Formulating and Implementing Jewish Public Policy
5. Community and Polity: The Arena of Jewish Governance
6. The Future of the Jewish Political Tradition.

(iii) The exploration of specific "case studies," each of which presents potential issues of intra-communal relations and decision-making processes of contemporary relevance in terms of the "constitutional principles" which implicitly govern the contemporary Jewish polity (e.g. voluntarism, federalism, consensualism, formal democracy, trusteeship, etc.), which can be placed against the classic back drop of the principles and norms of the entire course of Jewish political history.

The positive responses which each of the foregoing programs have already generated justifies optimism concerning the future of such efforts. They need to be employed to reach audiences that have hitherto been deprived of an understanding of the traditions which continue to shape the formation and implementation of Jewish public policy.


1. The JCPA/CJCS is an appropriate vehicle for the implementation of these tasks. Founded in 1970, as an institute, it unites scholars from throughout the world, each of whom is committed to the study of Jewish community organization, political thought and public affairs, past and present, in Israel and the diaspora. Moreover, through the medium of its various programs, the Center has already been instrumental in training a wider cadre of students and researchers, whose sensitivity to the importance of the Jewish political tradition and its contemporary uses has been heightened by acquaintance with the Center's publications and by participation in its workshops and seminars.

2. Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and its Contemporary Manifestations, edited by Daniel J. Elazar (Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 1981). The Jewish Polity: Jewish Political Organization from Biblical Times to the Present, Daniel J. Elazar and Stuart A. Cohen, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985).

3. Daniel J. Elazar, "Confrontation and Reconstitution: Selections from the Literature of Jewish Affairs 1969-1971," American Jewish Yearbook (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1972); "The Pursuit of Community: Selections from the Literature of Jewish Public Affairs, 1965-1966," American Jewish Yearbook (1967); "The Rediscovered Polity: Selections from the Literature of Jewish Affairs, 1967-1968," American Jewish Yearbook (1969); Harold M. Waller, "Reassessment and Retrenchment: Selections from the Literature of Jewish Public Affairs, 1972-1974," American Jewish Yearbook (1976); "Selections from the Literature of Jewish Public Affairs, 1975-1976," American Jewish Yearbook (1978); Mala Tabory and Charles S. Liebman, Jewish International Activity and Annotated Bibliography (Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University, 1985); E.G. Burke, The Literature of Jewish Public Affairs (Philadelphia: Jewish Community Studies Group, 1970).

4. The Study of Jewish Community Organization has resulted in the following published works:


The Balkan Jewish Communities: Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey - Daniel J. Elazar, Harriet Pass Friedenreich, Baruch Hazzan, and Adina Weiss Liberles (1984)

Community and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of American Jewry - Daniel J. Elazar (1980)

Israel: Building a New Society - Daniel J. Elazar

Jewish Communities in Frontier Societies: Argentina, Australia, and South Africa - Daniel J. Elazar with Peter Medding (1983)

The Jewish Communities of Scandinavia: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland - Daniel J. Elazar, Adina Weiss Liberles, and Simcha Werner (1984)

Jewishness in the Soviet Union: Report of an Empirical Study - Benjamin Fain and Mervin Verbit (1984)

The Jews of Yugoslavia: A Quest for Community - Harriet Pass Friedenreich (1979)

Maintaining Consensus: The Canadian Jewish Polity in the Postwar World - Daniel J. Elazar and Harold M. Waller (1989)

The Other Jews: The Sephardim Today - Daniel J. Elazar (1988)

People and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of World Jewry - Daniel J. Elazar (1989)

Reports, Working Papers,
and Other separately Published Items

The Activity Spheres of the American Jewish Community - Daniel J. Elazar (1972)

American Jewry and the Yom Kippur War: A First Assessment of the Community Response - Daniel J. Elazar (1974)

The Canadian Jewish Community: A National Perspective - Harold M. Waller (1977)

"Civil Judaism" in the United States - Jonathan S. Woocher (1978)

Decision-Makers in Communal Agencies: A Profile - Daniel J. Elazar (1973)

The Decision Makers: Key Divisions in Jewish Communal Life - Daniel J. Elazar (1973)

Decision Making in the American Jewish Community - Daniel J. Elazar (1972)

The Democratization of a Community: The Case of French Jewry - Ilan Greilsammer (1979)

French Jewry and American Jewry - Marc Salzburg (1971)

The Geography of American Jewish Communal Life - Daniel J. Elazar (1973)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Calgary - Harvey Rich (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Edmonton - Jennifer K. Bowerman (1975)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Hamilton - Louis Greenspan (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of London - Alan M. Cohen (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Montreal - Harold M. Waller and Sheldon Schreter (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Ottawa - Zachariah Kay (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Toronto - Yaakov Glickman (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Vancouver - Edna Oberman (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Windsor - Stephen Mandel and R.H. Wagenberg (1974)

The Governance of the Jewish Community of Winnipeg - Anna Gordon (1974)

The Jewish Community of Belgium - Adina Weiss (1970)

The Jewish Community of Bulgaria - Baruch Hazzan (1974)

The Jewish Community of Delaware - Adina Weiss and Joseph Aron (1976)

The Jewish Community of Denmark - Adina Weiss (1977)

The Jewish Community of Finland - Adina Weiss (1977)

The Jewish Community of Greece - Adina Weiss (1974)

The Jewish Community of Iran - Daniel J. Elazar (1975)

The Jewish Community of Mexico - Seymur B. Liebman (1978)

The Jewish Community of Norristown, Pennsylvania - Adina Weiss and Joseph Aron (1976)

The Jewish Community of Sweden - Adina Weiss (1977)

The Jewish Community of Turkey - Adina Weiss (1974)

Jewish Survival and American Jewish Leadership - Daniel J. Elazar (1973)

The Jewries of Scandinavia - Daniel J. Elazar (1977)

The Jews of Norway - Simcha Werner and Adina Weiss (1977)

In the Absence of Hierarchy: Notes on the Organization of the American Jewish Community - Ernest Stock (1970)

On the Study of International Jewish Political Organizations - Charles S. Liebman (1978)

The Organization and Status of Contemporary Jewish Communities 5730 (1969-1970) - Daniel J. Elazar (1971)

Preliminary Bibliography for the Comparative Study of Jewish Community Organization - Daniel J. Elazar (1970)

Sephardic Jewry in the United States: A Preliminary Instructional Profile - Daniel J. Elazar et al. (1978)

Studying Jewish Communities: A Research Guide - Daniel J. Elazar (1970)

Today's Sephardim in Perspective - Daniel J. Elazar (1982)

Trend Report on Jewish Social Research in Britain - Ernest Kraus (1971)


"Building Jewish Citizenship in the Emerging American Jewish Community," Daniel J. Elazar, Forum, no. 23 (Spring 1975), pp. 5-17.

"The Communal Organization of South African Jewry," Steven Aschheim, Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol. 12, no. 1 (June 1970), pp. 201-231.

"Consensus and Community in Israel," Asher Arian, Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol. 12, no. 1 (June 1970), pp. 39-53.

"A Contemporary Paradox: Israel and Jewish Peoplehood," Peter Y. Medding, Forum, no. 26/1 (1977), pp. 5-16.

"How 'Durban' Reacted to Israel's Crises: A Study of an American Jewish Community," Ernest Stock, Forum, no. 23/2 (1975), pp. 38-60.

"In the Absence of Hierarchy: Notes on the Organization of the American Jewish Community," Ernest Stock, Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol. 21, no. 2 (December 1970), pp. 195-200.

"Israel, American Jewry, and the Re-Emergence of a World Jewish Polity," Daniel J. Elazar in Annual of Bar-Ilan Studies in Judaica and the Humanities XVI-XVII (1979).

"The Institutional Life of American Jewry," Daniel J. Elazar, Midstream, vol. 17, no. 6 (June/July 1971), pp. 31-50.

"Jewish Multicountry Associations," Ernest Stock, American Jewish Year Book 1974-75, vol. 75, pp. 571-597.

"Jews of France: From Neutrality to Involvement," Ilan Greilsammer, Forum, nos. 28-29 (Winter 1978), pp. 130-146.

"The Legal Status of American Jewry," Daniel J. Elazar and Stephen R. Goldstein in American Jewish Year Book 1972, vol. 73, pp. 3-94.

"The New Sadducees," Daniel J. Elazar, Midstream, vol. 24, no. 7 (August/September 1978), pp. 20-25.

"A Note on the Structural Dynamics of the American Jewish Community," Daniel J. Elazar, Judaism, vol. 20, no. 3 (Summer 1971), pp. 335-340.

"On the Study of the Financing of Jewish Community Activities," A.A. Kessler, Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol. 12, no. 1 (June 1970), pp. 89-100.

"Patterns of Jewish Communal Participation," Daniel J. Elazar, Congress Bi-Weekly, vol. 39 (March 24, 1972), pp. 7-9.

"The Political Tradition of the American Jew," Daniel J. Elazar in Traditions of the American Jew, Stanley M. Wagner, ed. (New York: Center for Judaic Studies of University of Denver, 1977), chap. 5.

"The Reconstitution of Jewish Communities in the Post-War Period," Daniel J. Elazar, Jewish Journal of Sociology, vol. 11, no. 2 (December 1969), pp. 187-226.

"The State of World Jewry: A Contemporary Agenda," Daniel J. Elazar, Forum, vol. 25, no. 2 (1976), pp. 51-62.

"The Sunset of Balkan Jewry," Daniel J. Elazar, Forum, vol. 27, no. 2 (1977), pp. 135-141.

"Toward a Jewish Definition of Statehood for Israel," Daniel J. Elazar, Judaism, vol. 27, no. 2 (Spring 1978), pp. 233-244.

"Towards a Renewed Zionist Vision," Daniel J. Elazar, Forum, vol. 26, no. 1 (1977), pp. 52-69.

Journals and Serial Publications

(1) Issues of Tefutsot Yisrael (Hebrew quarterly co-published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the American Jewish Committee) devogted to products of the study.

The American Synagogue: Its Uniqueness and Future (Summer 1982) Israel-Diaspora Relations (Spring 1984)
The Jewish Communities in Scandinavia: Association and Assimilation (March 1977)
The Jewish Community in Mexico and Central America (March 1978)
The Jewish Community in Montreal: Facing Quebec Nationalism (June 1977)
The Jewish Federation: "Kehillot" American Style (Spring 1982)
Jewish Life in Britain (Winter 1983)
The Jewish Population in the Diaspora/Demographic Analyses and Forecasts (Winter 1980)
The Jews in Australia (June 1979)
The Jews of France in Troubled Times (Winter 1982)
The Organized Jewish Community in France (December 1978)
Pluralism and Equality/The Community Relations Agenda of American Jewry (Summer 1981)
The Remnants of Balkan Jewry (March-April 1974)

(2) Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints (An English language periodical published twice monthly providing up-to-date and often behind-the-scenes information on and analysis of significant developments in Israel, the Jewish world, and the Middle East.)
JL7 "French Jewry and the French Elections--I," Ilan Greilsammer (March 12, 1978)
JL8 "French Jewry and the French Elections--II," Ilan Greilsammer (April 16, 1978)
JL11 "The Jews of Quebec and the Canadian Crisis," Daniel J. Elazar (May 19, 1978)
JL25 "Soviet Jewry: Its Sources of Information and Images of Israel," Dan Caspi (December 4, 1979)
JL27 "The Movement of M'sorati Judaism in Israel," Batya Stein (February 19, 1980)
JL30 "American Jewish Political Activism in the 1980s: Five Dilemmas," Jonathan S. Woocher (July 1, 1980)
JL33 "Jewish Religion and Politics in Israel," Daniel J. Elazar (October 12, 1980)
JL37 "Jewishness in the Soviet Union: A Preliminary Report of the First Independent Empirical Study," Benjamin Fain, Dan Caspi, and Mervin F. Verbit (January 5, 1981)
JL44 "Jews on the Move: The New Wave of Jewish Migration and Its Implication for Organized Jewry," Daniel J. Elazar (January 10, 1982)
JL46 "The Emerging European Jewish Community Structure," Ernest Stock (March 14, 1982)
JL60 "Jews in Egypt--1983," Ernest Stock (June 15, 1983) JL65 "American Jews and Israel: Pragmatic, Critical, But Still in Love," Steven M. Cohen (September 18, 1983)
JL67 "Federation Allocations for Jewish Eduction and Other Local Services: A Comparison," Alysa M. Dortort (November 24, 1983)
JL71 "Israeli Emigres and the New York Federation: A Case Study in Ambivalent Policymaking for "Jewish Communal Deviants'," Steven M. Cohen (June 19, 1984)
JL92 "New Zealand Jewry in Transition," Stephen Levine (February 23, 1987)
JL99 "Survivors of the Spanish Exile: The Underground Jews of Ibiza," Gloria Mound (February 10, 1988)
JL101 "The Last Jews in India and Burma," Nathan Katz and Ellen S. Goldberg (April 15, 1988)
JL103 "The New Status of the Italian Jewish Community," Yaakov Andrea Lattes (June 15, 1988)
VP32 "Zionism as a Strategy for the Diaspora: French Jewry at a Crossroads," Shmuel Trigano (April 5, 1984)
VP35 "The New Agenda of European Jewry," Daniel J. Elazar (October 17, 1984
VP45 "Argentine Jewry Between Dictatorship and Democracy," Judith Laikin Elkin (December 31, 1985)
VP47 "Australian Jewry in the Asian Pacific Region," Isi J. Leibler (February 24, 1986)

Unpublished Reports

"Argentine Jewry: Its History, Ethnicity, and Problems," Seymour B. Liebman (Slightly different version pulished in Midstream, vol. 21, no. 1 [January 1975], pp. 59-66.)

"Background Information on German Jewry" - Jesse Fried (1984)

"The Jewish Communities of the USSR" (1974)

"The Jewish Communities of Brazil" - Miriam Mundstock (1970)

"The Jewish Community of Colombia" - Thomas L. Price (1976)

"The Jewish Community of Costa Rica" - Thomas L. Price (1976)

"The Jewish Community of India" - Daniel J. Elazar (1976)

"The Jewish Community of Italy" - Henryk Zvi Geller (1973)

"The Jewish Community of Panama" - Thomas L. Price (1976)

"The Organized Jewish Community in France" - Marc Salzburg (1974) (Ph.D. disssertaton)

"Rumanian Jewry 1945-1970" - Esther Oren (1974)

"The United Jewish Federation in Norfolk, Virginia" - Ephraim Inbar (1981)

5. Works that indicate the possibilities in this field: Daniel J. Elazar, Community and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of American Jewry (Philadelphia, 1976); and Stuart A. Cohen, English Zionists and British Jews: The Communal Politics of Anglo-Jewry, 1895-1920 (Princeton, 1982).

6. Gordon M. Freeman, The Heavenly Kingdom: Aspects of Political Thought in the Talmud and Midrash (Lanham, MD: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and University Press of America, 1986).

7. On Jewish parties: E. Mendelsohn, The Jews of East Central Europe between the World Wars (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1983); Louis Finkelstein, Jewish Self-Government in the Middle Ages (New York: Philip Feldheim, 1964); Salo W. Baron, The Jewish Community 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1938-1942); S.A. Cohen, English Zionists and British Jews: The Communal Politics of Anglo-Jewry: 1895-1920 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982).

8. Ella Belfer, "The Jewish People and the Kingdom of Heaven," Jewish Political Studies Review 1:1-2 (Spring 5749/1989).

9. Arnold Jacob Wolf, ed. Rediscovering Judaism (Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1965); Eugene Borowitz, Choices in Modern Jewish Thought (New York: Behrman, 1983); New Jewish Theology in the Making (Philadelphia: Westminister, 1968); Understanding Judaism (New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1979); Jakob J. Petuchowski, Ever Since Sinai (New York, 1961); John F.A. Taylor, The Masks of Society, An Inquiry into the Covenants of Civilization (New York: Appelton-Century-Crofts, 1966). See also Harold Fisch, Jerusalem and Albion (New York: Schocken, 1964).

10. Max Kadushin, The Rabbinic Mind, 2nd ed. (New York, 1965); and Organic Thinking: A Study in Rabbinic Thought (New York, 1938).

11. Stuart A. Cohen, "The Concept of the Three Ketarim: Its Place in Jewish Political Thought and its Implications for a Study of Jewish Constitutional History," Working Paper No. 18 (Jerusalem: JCPA, July 1982); "Keter as a Jewish Political Symbol: Origins and Implications," Jewish Political Studies Review 1:1-2 (Spring 5749/1989); O. Keel, The Symbols of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms (New York, 1978), pp. 259-280; T. Ishida, The Royal Dynasties in Ancient Israel (Berlin-New York, 1977). See also "Keter ve-Atarah," in Encyclopedia Mikra'it, vol. 4 (Jerusalem, 1962), clmns. 405-408.

12. Daniel J. Elazar, People and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of World Jewry (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989).

13. Daniel J. Elazar, The Present Time and the Past (Ramat Gan: Turtledove, 1982).

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