Beyond Distancing: What it Means if American Jews Detach from Israel
In recent years major sociological and demographic surveys have shown clear signs that young American Jews (those under 40) are growing increasingly “distanced” or disconnected from the State of Israel. Simply stated, after six decades of nearly universal support, the relationship between American Jews and Israel is no longer guaranteed. Because the distancing revealed in these studies does not correlate with political attitudes, it suggests something deeper about American Jewish identity.
In this unprecedented symposium, Spertus explored the intricacies of this issue with a panel of distinguished experts. Among the questions we examined: Is criticism of government policies tantamount to lack of support for Israel? Can American Jews retain connection to Judaism while detaching from Israel? How do these attitudes impact Jewish institutions? And, as a new generation assumes leadership in the American Jewish community, what does this mean for the future?
Keynote speaker Dr. Ari Y. Kelman was joined by panelists Elisa Albert, Dr. Michael Kotzin, and Carl Schrag.