Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts
Volume 12, Numbers 1-2 (Spring 5760/2000)
A JEWISH "MARCH OF DIMES"? ORGANIZATION THEORY AND THE FUTURE OF JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCILS
The changes occurring in American Jewry and in Israel are having their ripple effect on the organizational structure and governance of the American Jewish community. Jewish Community Relations Councils (JCRCs) are finding that their original substance-based goals have been accomplished to a great extent or no longer possess a sense of urgency. What, then, is the future of JCRCs? The literature of organization theory frequently cites the March of Dimes, which had totally accomplished its sole goal and then sought to remain in existence by engaging in goal succession. Does the evolution of the March of Dimes suggest anything about the future of JCRCs? Using four criteria that theorists derived from the case of the March of Dimes, the author analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of JCRCs. He concludes that the future vitality of this government-like institution within the American Jewish community will depend in large part on making an explicit choice between the substance-based and process-based aspects of a JCRC.
THE POLITICS OF AMERICAN JEWS:
COHESION, DIVISION, AND REPRESENTATION AT THE INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL
Laurence A. Kotler-Berkowitz
and Lawrence Sternberg
This article examines political cohesion and division in the American Jewish community's central network of political and fundraising institutions. Employing data from the 1997 National Jewish Community Public Affairs Survey, the authors show that political activists in the community's Jewish Community Relations Councils are routinely more liberal in their political preferences than Federation donors, including the synagogue members among them. However, the authors argue, the political division between the activists and their main constituents is usually modest and does not warrant concerns about a lack of effective political representation in the organized Federation-JCRC system.
JEWISH WAR CLAIMS IN THE NETHERLANDS: A CASE STUDY
There is probably a greater discrepancy between the benign image and the harsh reality of Dutch wartime and postwar behavior than for any other country. An analysis of the Holocaust assets issue and its background in The Netherlands can be relevant in a much larger European context in view of its multiple financial, political, historical, cultural, psychological, social, educational, and moral implications.
Negotiations with major Dutch counterparts are now completed and over 750 million guilders will be available for payments, mainly to survivors. More than half of this figure originates from the Dutch government. However, this represents less than 5 percent of the real, current value of assets looted and not restored and only 35-40 percent of the money Dutch Jews should rightfully have received now from the government. The government's apology for the injustice done to the Jews after the war included a new fallacy: that the postwar failures were unintentional. For other reasons as well, the Dutch Holocaust assets issue and related matters will not disappear from the Jewish public agenda and that of Dutch society.
THE HOLOCAUST AND THE RISE OF ISRAEL: A REASSESSMENT REASSESSED
Abraham J. Edelheit
The two momentous events that define Jewish history in the twentieth century, the Holocaust and the rise of the State of Israel, may be viewed as polar opposites in the spectrum of Jewish political power: the Holocaust represents the nadir of Jewish powerlessness, while the actions that culminated in the State of Israel's revival represent the use of all diplomatic resources then available to Jewry. However, lingering questions remain about the connection - beyond mere chronological coincidence - between the two events. This essay attempts to assess the role played by the Holocaust as a catalyst that speeded up the national building project begun by Theodor Herzl. The Holocaust acted to significantly alter the scale and timetable of Zionist activities so that independence was attainable in a matter of years rather than in decades. Measurable changes that can be attributed to the persecution of German and (after 1939) European Jewry include the turn to mass aliya, a willingness to specify Zionist goals, and the transformation of Zionism from one element in the Jewish polity to the central element in all surviving Jewish communities.
THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE AS AN INFLUENCE ON HANS J. MORGENTHAU'S REALISM
M. Ben Mollov
Hans J. Morgenthau was probably the foremost exponent of the school of political realism in the academic discipline of international relations in the United States and has left a permanent imprint on the thinking of both theoreticians and practitioners in the field. A product of a European education, he fled Nazi Germany for the U.S. during the Hitler years, and had a distinguished career at the University of Chicago and the City University of New York. This article explores certain little known aspects of the Jewish experience which affected him such as the impact of searing anti-Semitism, and his subsequent activism in Jewish causes. It argues, based on a comparison and analysis of both Jewish and general writings, that the Jewish experience influenced Morgenthau's "realist" worldview in terms of a disillusionment with enlightenment expectations of harmony and progress, and accentuated his appreciation of the power phenomenon in human relations.
THE POLICIES AND ATTITUDES OF LABOR AND NON-LABOR GOVERNMENTS IN AUSTRALIA REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE: 1932-1949
While acknowledging certain reservations about Australian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Herbert Evatt's boda fide support for Israel, this essay shows that, in marked contrast with the governments of Lyons and Menzies, which strongly opposed the aspirations of the Jewish people to develop a national home in Palestine and establish their own state there, Evatt and important leaders in the Labor movement were very sympathetic to the Zionist ideal of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine and made a significant contribution to the achievement of that goal.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTS OF NEW ZEALAND JEWRY
Very far removed from the rest of world Jewry, the New Zealand Jewish community is, nevertheless, one that interacts with world Jewry as best it can and whose organizational structures will be instantly recognizable to anyone active in Jewish affairs. Insights into New Zealand Jewry, its purposes and values, can be gained by examining the ways in which the community has defined itself through formal constitutional documents. As elsewhere, so too in New Zealand, those Jews taking part in communal activities have equipped themselves with constitutional reference points by which to guide their activities. While these come to the fore only at certain times - when a group is being founded; at meetings and elections of officers; in times of crisis and intragroup division - they play an important role in binding members to certain fundamental understandings about personal and group identity and objectives. Constitution-making can be an exhilarating activity, liberating the energies of those devising ways of governance and strategies for linking up with other organizations.
THE STATE OF JEWISH POLITICAL STUDIES: WHERE WE ARE, WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED, AND WHAT WE HAVE NEGLECTED - AFTER 30 YEARS
Daniel J. Elazar
Thirty years after its beginning as a systematic field, Jewish political studies has succeeded in drawing attention to its subject matter and in bringing a small but highly competent group of scholars to consider that subject matter. We have established courses in over 25 institutions of higher learning, we have produced a quality list of publications - books, monographs, and articles, and a journal for the field. We have developed institutionalized venues for coming together and we have gained recognition by our colleagues. At the same time we have not succeeded in building the kind of academic institutional base as such that can be sure to guarantee Jewish political studies a continuing place on the academic scene as a separate field. We need to attract more researchers, teachers, and students, and to make Jewish political studies an essential part of the Jewish studies curriculum. To do this we need to capitalize on the interest shown in certain topics by the wider Jewish public such as the interest in Judaism and democracy, Israel-diaspora relations, or the government and politics of the State of Israel.