Known for his commentary on American political culture and the Jewish experience, Earl was a prolific writer. For years he wrote regular columns for the Jewish Bulletin (now known as J. The Jewish News of Northern California). He also wrote often for Commentary, where many of his articles are still available, and other publications. Below is a compendium of his essays from the JCRC archive.
The judgement of society comes down to the side of being fair to the individual, even if it means being unfair to a class. And that's the way it should be. Our society is based on the ideal of individual rights.
Comparing the Weber decision to the earlier Bakke decision, one commentator said: "The Supreme Court is spinning like a top." But the decisions are not themselves contradictory.
To overcome the long cultural overlay of male chauvinism it now becomes necessary to actively search for qualified women, and to go out of the way to train qualified women for equal job positions. That's affirmative action.
Affirmative Action became an official part of American social philosophy in the middle of the 1960's.
The Jews are now included in the government's program for affirmative action in employment.
The "Quota Issue" was pushed back into prominence by two San Francisco judges in recent weeks.
American Jews have long been in a wrangle about "affirmative action and quotas." The Supreme Court decisions on the subject might help clarify things.
Comparing university policies of Affirmative Action in Israel and the U.S.
Perhaps no one has understood where "preferential treatment" has really been leading us.
New quota systems are developing in the universities of California -- and they do affect Jews as a group.
Article responding to Bakke decision at California Supreme Court looking at delineation between Affirmative Action and quotas.
A short discussion of "clear and effective programs in affirmative action, a phrase which has somehow gotten a bad name."
America and the Jews: Jewish Identity in America and Beyond
That question was put to the JCRC by the California Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1981.
Considering the affect of the frontier on the character of those living in the West -- including American Jews.
Another year and we're still here, we Jews.
Reflections on the ability of Jews and their communal institutions to flourish as a minority in a host society, from Understanding American Jewry edited by Marshall Sklare.
Comparing two statements, which demostrate two extremely opposite poles in perception, on the public conditions of the Jews.
"A funny thing happened to us on our way to the ethnic revolution."
Predictions for the future from the final quarter of the twentieth century.
Another testimonial to the visibility of the Jews.
A 1971 raid on JCRC's office by an elderly Jew, who made off with a stack of leaflets with which he did not agree, leaves Earl reflecing on a new liveliness in the Jewish community.
Jewish professionals are not just concerned wtih the physical security of the Jews, but also with the survival of the Jewish people.
"The San Francisco laboratory is still in a position to provide some unique perspectives, still being the advance station in American Jewish integration."
How the post-war confidence of American Jews was drained.
College campuses are often more important in the political arena than they are accounted.
Considering ziz, leviathan, behomet and other awesome monsters of ancient Jewish legends in a time of great change and dangerous currents.
If Jews had a graven image it might be of a 'Saul Revere' crying: "The worst is coming! The worst is coming!"
"I remember a time when it was not so uncommon for certain American Jews, especially in the tell-tale areas outside the big-city ghettoes, to avoid using the short form of the word."
When is a Jewish institution not a Jewish institution?
Whichever way America moves -- whether towards a genuine ethnic pluralism or away from it -- the establishment and assertion of ethnic pride and power will be essential to the effective participation by Jews in American society.
"There is a serious danger to the survival of American Jews -- and perhaps to all Jews -- which is often overlooked."
Being raised again is the question of whether Jews want to consider themselves a "minority," or to emphasize their separate ethnic character in the public realm.
In the modern world arena of politics, the prescription for humility also has a hard practical meaning for Jewish survival.
Whatever the reasons, Jews are producing fewer people than any other group in America.
A conversion rate of about 40 percent would prevent any statistical erosion of the Jewish population by intermarriage.
Test your Jewish IQ with these questions raised in 1977 public affairs.
Discussion of the "curious contradiction" of Jews who contribute to the Federation and not to a synagogue. "The practical role of the synagogue for Jewish survival, whether in Israel or in America, is as great today as it was in the time of Ezra the Scribe."
America and the Jews: Jewish Security and the Nature of America
It is clear that the Jews of this country will be protected by the government of this country.
As we move towards this "direct democracy," now being pushed by Reagan as it was once pushed by Saul Alinsky, and then by the liberals of the 1960's -- we are essentially moving away from the representative government which is a conservative (and classic liberal) article of belief.
The charge of "dual loyalty" is, of course, a standard of right-wing anti-Semitism
American Jews are becoming increasingly uneasy about their status as Americans, and their own 'inferiority' as Jews.
What we need now is what the football fans describe as "touch" in a passing quaterback. The surgical knife rather than the meat-ax.
Paper prepared for 'The Planning Conference for Modern Jewish Studies' held in October in 1979.
It is still not clear whether Jews are tolerated guests in this country -- or an integral part of it.
There is no certain way to restrict a Constitutional Convention to one or more given subjects.
Negative feelings toward Israel do not coincide with negative feelings towards Jews, according to the evidence. And yet...
More and more people seem to be answering "yes."
American Jews and Politics
American Jews are a politically effective group, but is that effectiveness is threatened by developing changes?
In their historical bones Jews fear the consequences of social violence -- which, by its nature, is always represssive.
Examination of the implications for the future of Jewish political loyalty and influence of persistent Democratic loyalty.
One of the most dangerous dividing lines in the American Jewish community has to do with the impact of partisan politics within the community.
The organized Jewish community is strongly affected by and publicly reflective of political mood changes among American Jews.
Israel is a key-pin of America's foreign policy. That is why the Congressional preoccupation with Israel need not be explained by either Jewish contributions or Jewish votes.
The Jews of America are coming to feel themselves politically adrift.
We usually get our "conventional wisdom" by observing what is being said in our own parlors and our own circles. They are usually very limited circles.
It is a critical time for people concerned with American democracy to get more actively involved in politics.
Are American Jews changing the pattern of their political party loyalties?
The fate of most Jews in the world -- not to mention the social values they cherish -- depend heavily on the public polities of the United States government.
Earl discusses the attitudes of prominent pundits who at the time indulged in "the Logic of Misplaced Indigation" when complaining about and criticizing American Jews.
American Labor on Democracy, Israel and the Jews
Garment manufacturing has been a significant part of American Jewish history.
In the political arena, the labor movement has been the Jewish community's most constant and potent friend.
The labor movement is not "the enemy," but is still one of the essential elements in any coalition of forces to move the nation in a more democratic and progressive direction.
The reasons for the strong ties between American labor and Israel.
An address at the annual plenary of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, Cleveland, February, 1983.
In 1979, there were reported a rash of anti-Semitic "episodes" in various parts of the country.
Good laws, rather than good men, make a good society.
The voucher system would probably put an end to the current public school system.
Let us compare two statements on the public condition of the Jews.
The redneck anti-Semitism of Billy Carter.
The term "anti-Semitism" has become homogenized.
Given their close study of the Holocaust, it is astonishing how innocent so many Jews are about the nature of anti-Semitism.
Perhaps it's time to tell the story again.
The Jew will always be caught between the Bolshevik-like Left and the Nazi-like Right. To both of them, Jewish existence is anathema.
The key question is whether a society and its people are committed against violating a group's rights even if they don't like that group.
The Jewish jitters are often well justified.
It is time to remind ourselves again that, when it comes to anti-Semitism, the world is imperfectly divided into three classes: The Monsters, the Indifferents and the Insensitives.
The theme of modern and future anti-Semitism is political rather than religious.
There are three fronts on which the fight against anti-Semitism must take place.
Whether it's new or been around for awhile, whether it's growing or static, what's going to be done about it? What can be done to fight anti-Semitism today?
The KKK is the largest organized movement of anti-semitism and bigotry in the country.
Why has Spiro Agnew been going around the country claiming Jews have too much influence?
The only force capable of toppling Israel is the Soviet Union.
If otherwise qualified Jews are excluded just because they're Jews, then social discrimination exists.
Over-anticipating anti-Semitism can take attention away from a situation from which anti-Semitism might indeed emerge.
At what point does one become a certified "anti-Semite?" It is a futile and self-indulgent exercise.
It says something about the dormant state of anti-Semitism when the Jewish idenity of candidates for office is a matter of indifference to the populace.
Things do change. Things can be changed. Then, as progress moves up a notch, we tend to take it for granted.
Argentina has indeed been a receptive and important haven for beleaguered world Jewry.
Someone's always trying to scare the Jews.
Civility starts with the sense that each of us, while important enough, is not the center of the world.
A once great culture, with institutions, learning centers, education systems, philanthropic institutions, was totally destroyed.
About 60 public anti-Semitic epsiodes have taken place in San Francisco in the last 40 years.
There is currently no predominant political ideology of anti-Semitism; but European nationalist/ethnic xenophobia is still in place.
In the 1930s, the American society was falling apart in many ways that we are not seeing now. One of the signals was the existence of massive anti-Semitic movements.
Thoughts following the State of Georgia's official pardon of Leo Frank, who was lynched in 1915.
One aspect of the unfolding Watergate testimony has not received much attention, but touches on a sensitive Jewish historical nerve.
Our basic and ultimate concern is with the development of an anti-Semitic movement.
Given their close study of the Holocaust, it is astonishing how naive so many Jews are about the nature of anti-Semitism.
Make no mistake: the rumor of rising anti-Semitism around American/Israeli issues is a weapon against Israel.
Gentlemen from Washington complaining about "Jewish pressure" are indulging in the Logic of Misplaced Indignation.
Perhaps we need another word to describe the state of mind of people who have a certain ambivalence about Jews as a group.
The "dual loyalty" theme is chilling because it was the essence of modern European anti-Semitism.
The difference between anti-Semitism and ambi-Semitism is the difference between hating the Jews, and just not caring whether someone else hates the Jews.
Black Jewish Relations
Louis Farrakhan's significance does nat primarily lie in the arena of black-Jewish relations.
The "Black-Jewish Coalition" -- From one viewpoint
American Jewish criticism of Israeli governments is not a new invention.
How dangerous, finally, is the anti-Semitic ideology being developed by the growing black movement?
The black American is the arch-American, prevalently embracing star spangled American ideals, aspirations and values.
Many Americans -- indeed, many Israelis -- believe it inevitable that we "talk with" the PLO.
There is no ignoring the evidence that Jackson seems personally soft on anti-Semitism.
The Middle Passage holocaust is literally built into the nervous system of blacks; just as the Nazi holocaust is built into the nervous system of Jews.
Jesse Jackson is a media event whose influence in the black community is only an inch deep.
Publication of this book by Greenwood Press, authored by historians Robert G. Weisbord and Richard Kazarian Jr., could not be more timely.
Within a stabilized union of disparate groups, there are often shifting coalitions -- and, indeed, states of detente.
The media say frictions between Blacks and Jews are increasing. But why?
The mass media declared that 'a state of war' existed between the Jewish and Black communities. Now, it seems as though the media gave a war -- and nobody came.
Our challenge is to maintain a centrist movement which is attractive and effective.
For a coalition to exist certain areas of group self-interest must coincide significantly.
If young people are exposed to the general perspective of history, beyond slogans and dates, they will tend to understand the imperatives of democratic life.
Communication between Black and Jewish communities can help put disputes in proper perspective and even engender more flexibility.
The evolution of American black attitudes towards Israel provides insight into the general currents of thought that might threaten American support of Israel.
A society only hangs together because of civility: people being able to expect that there are certain violative things other people will not do to them.
A couple of hard facts about the school integration plan in San Francisco.
The "New American Dilemma" is how to distribute America's promise to the various disadvantaged sections of the population without withdrawing it from others.
Distrubing examples of how easy it is for some people to displace their anger onto innocent victims based on racial profiling.
The profound purposes of integration is realized when the educational achievement of all students is the priority goal for the school system.
The Jewish community has a critical stake in the development of an integrated America, and in the health of the public school system.
Some Jews, like Moses Judah of New York and Rebecca Hart of Philadelphia, were very active in opposing slavery and supporting abolition. But such activity was not a prevalent concern of the Jewish community when slavery was legal in America.
The heart of our civil rights problem today lies with the disproportionate density of hopeless poverty identified with a specific racial or ethnic group.
In 1983 the American government tried to reform its immigration policy and, during the course of that unsuccessful struggle, Americans were survey about which immigrant groups had been "a good thing" for the country.
Lip service to civil rights won't do. There's a new agenda that requires attention and commitment.
Article from Thinking About Cities: New Perspectives on Urban Problems.
Julian Bond, renowned black legislator from Georgia, visits San Francisco to discuss Sourthern Elections Fund.
This is a period of declining intergroup conflict in the schools of this area, as compared with the recent past.
The snake in the garden was always there to see: a distorted political view, the rejectionist view of the New Politics at its worst, ribbed with nihilism
With the Jonestown tragedy, we are reaping harvest from some of the New Politics of the late 1960s.
Of all the concerns which Jews have about the possible diminuation of Judaism, Christian proselytizing efforts certainly belong at the bottom of the list.
Some shockingly high disproportion of Moon's membership is made up of young Jews.
Is there a connection between the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the organization call "Judaism-in-Service-to-the-World"?
Even when the purpose is sound, there is a sharp and important distinction between keeping gross statistics, and keeping personnel records which identify given persons as to ethnicity.
Earl answers questions about day schools, affirmative action, communism in Europe and aparthied in South Africa
Because of patterns of prejudice, the country has outlawed irrelevant discrimination against race, religion, national origin, age and sex.
A democratic society does not punish people for what they think, for their associations, or for what they do in private which does not impinge on other people.
It's not up to government to provide equality of achievement, but rather to provide equality of opportunity to achieve.
Integration is critically important for reasons other than academic achievement.
Too many of the Americans who feel a deep revulsion against the flouting of tradition find refuge in evangelical, sometimes extremist religions.
The traditionalism of the evangelicals does not impinge on their political orientation except when some aspects of modernity radically threaten their status and security. (Written with Seymour Martin Lipset.)
The Christian Awareness Broadcasting System bought a radio station in Monterey, California.
Free Speech, First Amendment Rights
The P.L.O. is the connective tissue for the international underground pro-totalitarian movement directed against the United States and the free world.
We do not want the state to decide what is and what is not a legitimate religious Holy Day.
It is getting more and more difficult to make political judgments on the basis of instant cues.
It is not inappropriate that the new federal rule on affirmative action for Jews coincides with Passover.
Freedom of speech often hurts; but it is finally the best protection against oppression.
No society, no Jewish community can grow without opening itself freely to minority expression.
But what about the legislative efforts to do church-state damage? Well, the prayer bill was defeated.
Even if government does not establish a reiligion, it will at best become an arbiter among reiligions, if it gets into the business seriously. Hence the separation of church and state.
How far should government go in accomodating to the religious needs of its citizens?
It may be the time for an increased number of thoughtful people to become active in the ACLU. The organization is too important to allow it to become chic and sterile.
To say that even the Nazis in America are protected by the First Amendment and other statutes is not an abstract civil libertarian position. It is the most practical, the most militant, indeed the most courageous position to take against the Nazis.
There is nothing in the law to prevent schools from having periods of silent prayer, but most Jewish organizations have opposed them out of fear that the practice might be denominationally abused.
there are so many individual rights guaranteed under law, there wilI always.be the need to balance them at times.
The public status of religious holidays has long been a troublesome question.
The religious conscience has always posed the toughest kinds of tests for democratic life.
In mass technological societies, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the line which protects one set of human desires against another set without unnecessary control.
Jews (and other minority religious groups) should not be disadvantaged because of their religious beliefs.
Society has a responsibility to try to maintain the continuity of its moral standards.
The Guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission state that employers (public and private) "have an obligation to accomodate religious practices; unless they can demonstrate that accomodation would result in undue hardship."
It is still not clear whether Jews are tolerated guests in this country - or an integral part of it.
Our main protection lies in militantly demanding our rights - as equal citizens; as Jews, with differences - whether people like us or not, If we loae that, we lose the main battle to the Nazis.
The means by which the University of California extracted itself from a contract with the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review is a vignette with a number of lessons.
National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) debates free speech and provocation.
These are two genuine issues: the need for church-state separation; and the need for public recognition and standing as a Jewish group.
Is it ever constitutionally permissible to have Christmas carols, reiligious plays and reiligious symbols in the public schools?
The question is how far the state can institutionalize a period of silent prayer without imposing forms or prefaces which would erode religious pluralism.
Unlike many European Jewish communities, the American Jewish community has not typically been bashful about openly demanding treatment as first class citizens.
It was just in the last quarter of the 19th century that the idea seriously developed of keeping all religious expression out of the schools, denominational or not.
There are certain rules of etiquette in pluralism.
The situation in Iran provides a peek into the Middle East future. It is a most dangerous future for Israel.
A hundred thousand people, fleeing the Vietnamese Wonderland, could drown in the ocean waters because no country will receive them. There is much muttering of "It's not our business," which raises the story of The Three Sons.
The distinction between democratic societies and undemocratic countries, such as the Soviet Union and South Africa, is not that democracies are perfect in their administration of justice, and the others are not.
The Falklands Affair may turn out to be one of those subtle places in history which, in retrospect, mark a lurch downward; in this case, a downward lurch of democratic civilization.
Amnesty International slandered Israel's treatment of Arab prisoners, but has also helped embattled Jews around the world.
The ideology of the new oppression in Iran will not tolerate Jews or sympathizers of Israel.
Sentimentality in foreign affairs is superficial and dangerous.
Political freedom is the key to Jewish security in America, and to Jewish survival in Israel. Passing the baton of oppression from one oppressor to another is not the point.
Among the historic national enmities in the world, the enmity between Jews and Poles is not the least.
There hasn't been much plain speaking in the United Nations in recent years.
The question of whether America participates at all in the 1980 Moscow games is a legitimate subject for review.
Some people will go to any length in order to miss the point.
The fact is that political considerations determine how any given person feels about any given violation of human rights.
Now with the U.S. and Israel as the joint villain for much of the Third World, there are unparalleled scapegoating possibilities.
Ginsburg's Law: "Enemies have a primary reason for their enmity which wiII be satisfied only with your crushing defeat or demise; they will make up more negotiable public reasons, but as fast as you satisfy those public reasons, they will manufacture others."
Israel American Relations
If there was not a solid Jewish community to provide the framework, the information-sharing, the consensus, the timing, our individual political acts would be isolated and ineffective.
The problem is that so much is going on behind the scenes - often necessarily - that most citizens do not feel that they have sufficient facts on which to base a sound decision.
There are three broad categories of people who oppose Israel.
Will the new events in Vietnam weaken American support of Israel?
Up Market Street they came last week, chanting: "Hands off the Middle East!" And their lead placard read: "Vietnam and Palestine: Two fronts, one war!"
The Standard Oil Co. of California, headquartered in San hancisco, has just sent a letter to all of its stock holders, urging more sympathy for the Arab cause.
As an impediment to peace, Israel's tactical sins with respect to the settlements were scarcely in a class with Egypt's abondonment of the negotiations on the eve of success. But there have not been miles of accusatory ink written about that.
There is no better way to get a perspective on what is happening between Israel and the United States than in Washington, D.C.
Power is always a matter of who is most willing to exert it. History will surely marvel at the spectacle of the Saudi clan holding up the United States.
We may have a particularly good Congressional delegation -- and they all deserve some positive reactions from their constituents -- but their behavior also exemplifies a general Congressional tendency to appreciate Israel's role more consistently than does the Executive branch.
Jews are active, politically. But their only decisive weapon is persuasion.
The longer an American President is in office, the more annoyed he becomes with Israel.
The U.S. Administration supported that UN resolution "on settlements" as a matter of flirtation with the Arab world, then turned around quickly to say that the resolution should not be taken seriously.
This is no longer just a matter of obtaining oil. Any major cut-off from the Saudi Arabian economy would increasingly mean a jolt for the American economy and the American people.
The crucial words are always negotiations and security.
Most Americans don't give a hang about the Palestinian issue, one way or another. The attitudes of the public and or public officials towards support of Israel is not going to be shifted.
As to American public support of Israel, there seem to be mixed signals.
The evidence is that while Jews will not normally vote for a candidate solely because of his position on Israel, at least 9 out of 10 would vote against any candidate they felt was bent on destroying Israel.
The fact is that fundamental American pub+ic support for Israel is getting stronger, not weaker.
There is no single organization in the world which better qualifies as "terrorist" under this American law than does the PLO.
Presidential candidate "caucus" meetings are about to take place in California. It will be an, intere.sting experiment in political democracy.
The modern theory of citizen-communications is that one individually written letter is worth a thousand petitions, telegram banks, mimeographed postcards or carefully constructed little "demonstrations." Today, those things are easily done, easily organized, and do not convey to the modern politician as much heartfelt motivation as individually written letters.
For years Saudi Arabia was subservient to the oil companies; now the oil companies are subservient to Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. Administration's proposed sale of 300 advanced mi I itary tanks to Jordan is more than a financial transaction. Permission for this sale is a political transaction.
This is the first time that Standard Oil, or any major oil company has explicitly stated that the legitimate interests of Israel and its people must be taken into account.
The scenario is grounded in a tragic situation whose essential element has not changed: both Jews and Arabs have a reasonable claim to the same land.
There are some obvious strains between the United States and Israel, but it is worthwhile to note that everything is not going to Gehinnom in a handbasket.
The United States and Egypt are becoming friendly and entaagled, nothing in itself to object to. But the U.S. vote in that recent United Nations resolution may foreshadow the direction of the play.
In childhood, the formula seems easy: whoever helps my friend, is my friend; whoever helps my enemy, is my enemy. The formula doesn't apply so neatly in the real adult world.
The mass media did not do a very sharp job of evaluating the results of Camp David.
Everyone will want to fill in the blank with his or her own word to describe the quality that he or she thinks Carter is displaying in this situation.
There's something offensive about any material which suggests that Jews are "one issue" voters. They're not. On the other hand, American Jews are legitimately interested in whether their government is supportative of Israel.
American support for Israel is faltering, according to Senator Charles Percy and others. What Senator Percy means is that his support for Israel is faltering.
The American people not only know where they stand on any issue like the U.N. resolution -- they appreciate leaders who lead.
We have been given another glimpse of the power of our President in the matter of Israel -- including the power to distort.
Iran promises to be not just another episode, but a pivotal episode in modern history.
What does American access to Middle East oil mean?
The House of Representatives has adopted an amendment to the State Department Authorization Act which would tighten the visa restrictions on admission to the United States for members of the PLO.
Having seen my complaint about his comments at Stanford, Congressman "Pete" McCloskey came into the office last week.
The editorial writer of the San Francisco Chronicle may not know the Torah portion of this week, but President-elect Carter certainly does.
Governments with very little sanity, very little stability, and very little at stake have begun to get the nuclear capacity. As in the case of Iraq, they can buy it with oil.
Why so much excitement about the recent U.N. resolution on the Middle East?
The American public now needs double reassurance from the President and Congress that Israel is our close friend, the UN resolution to the contrary notwithstanding.
All future energy considerations aside, it is predictable that the American enterprise -- industry, economy and defense -- will depend upon an adequate supply of oil through the 1980s. Saudi Arabia sits on about a third of the total oil resources of OPEC.
The events of Iran/Afghanistan mean Soviet Jews are going to need the direct moral support of American Jews more than they have in many years.
The proposed sale of advanced equipment for Saudi F-15s was, and remains, foolish and dangerous--but not as critical as the sale of AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System).
Israel and the Middle East
The recent tragedies in Hebron have laid bare Israel's deepest torment.
The ominous design of Syrian wheels-within-wheels currently blocking the spread of Middle East peace has nothing to do with any "Palestinian State," except as a ploy.
The current Israeli-Egyptian peace can best be defined as a pre-detente peace.
Never has there been so much concentrated money from one country poised to invade another country.
The UN's Palestinian Committee thought this would be a fine time to release a motion picture and other material about the Palestinian Arabs.
The problem is: that land, in the Western Bank alone, contains 600 thousand Palestinian Arabs.
Someday there must be an accomodation between the security needs of Israel and Palestinian Arab aspirations.
The Saudi 8-point plan is not a peace plan. It is a declaration of war. It is an ultimatum.
The United States has been looking at the PLO through oil-covered glasses.
The "Palestine revolution," by it own working definition, means the dismantling not only of Israel but of the Jewish population in Israel.
If one is outraged by the barbaric action of barbaric countries, one can be even more outraged and frightened by the barbaric action of civilized countries.
With the millions of words that have been written about anti-terrorism, only one basic principle has emerged: Do not capitulate.
Israelis are heavily divided on the proposition that Judea and Samaria, as holy land, should be totally incorporated into Israel for non-negotiable htstorical and religious reasons.
The Golan Heights represents an impossible security risk.
The U.N. was only a useful tool for peace, if the nations of the world wanted peace and justice. Meanwhile, among the nations, the strong had better be good. And the good had better be strong.
What had Sadat done? He had, in a palpable way, recognized the existence of Israel for the first time, which sent some Arab nations into frenzy.
Extremist left-wing and right-wing forces in the world will keep the pot boiling: a Middle East conflict featuring Israel as the villain is important for these forces.
The difference between dissent and treason.
It is significant how often a headline event which affects America, affects Israel and the Jews as well.
Israel is in a more precarious position than it has faced since the creation of the State.
A siege mentality is not equipped to deal either acceptably or effectively with a real siege against Jews in the modern world.
Baseball's Casey Stengel once said: "Good pitching will always win against good hitting -- and vice versa." It would take a mind like Casey Stengel's to fully understand all the self-cancelling perversities of Middle East politics.
American support for Israel is not irreversible, but it will take a lot more than outright "Arab propaganda" to reverse it.
Sometimes it seems that the only thing the Israelis agree on is chicken.
Simply, Israel is surrounded by a hundred million hostiles, many of them ready to fire or march at the first sign of vulnerability.
The Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs are both victims. They are victims of a long train of history. They should weep for each other. But weeping is not enough. A realistic political solution is needed.
The back-room antics before last week's UN resolution on Jerusalem dramatically revealed two things: the kind of political animal the UN has become -- and the special role of the PLO as a Soviet agent.
Israel's survival requires that most of the West Bank take on some status other than an integral part of the State of Israel.
We should remind everyone of Arafat's words that the PLO and Khoumeini are "on the same boat," evidence that we cannot allow the PLO on our boat, if we want to stay afloat.
The most urgent issue in the minds of the Israeli electorate is the economy.
This is perhaps a new "window of opportunity" with respect to finding some peaceful arrangement between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.
When there is no satisfactory solution for a problem, politicians should not try to force one.
Someone has said that "Israel is the moral gymnasium in which other nations I exercise their flabby moral muscles."
Israel is irrelevant to the Middle East turmoil, although it prevents Israel from establishing stable peace with its neighbors, no matter what it does.
In some sense, Bruno Kreisky, its chancel lor, has turned Austria into a plague area because of his loving treatment of Arafat.
Book review of Israel's Lebanon War by Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari.
The American Jewish community is one point in a profound triangle which includes itself. Israel and the American government.
We might as well brace ourselves for the fact that Israel is going to come under new and severe verbal attack in America this year.
France has been uncivilized more often than most of us are willing to admit.
Unless we do the problem-solving, we will only have more and more grief.
Most of the American Jews who are "frozen at the wheel" just don't want Israel to take any serious risks that might alienate the American government or American public. Now, that is failure of nerve.
Israel's involvement in the West Bank has much more to do with the internal nature of Israeli society than with peace in the Middle East.
The Jewish community may have a special edge of concern about the energy problem but it has no special expert knowledge on how to solve it.
This new year will be the "year of Jerusalem" for the wrong reasons.
A modern state can operate as a democracy only if it recognizes no experts, of any kind, as final authority.
Most governments of the world, including America, do not shape their attitudes towards Israel according to whether they like or do not like Jews. That is an irrelevancy. China is a case in point.
Israel's forces.moved.against the PLO in Lebanon, as a matter-of self-defense.
Israel's attempt to find a solution for survival somewhere between the Rock (a PLO state) and the Hard Place (annexation), lies in its generally overlooked proposal for a graduated autonomy.
For the fourth time in three years, the United Nations General Assembly voted for sanctions on Israel.
Debate will continue, but material support for Irael will be forthcoming from even the more uncertain American Jews, because of the dire and unthinkable consequences of any alternative.
A democractic/secular Israel is, in practice, the end of any Jewish state.
Jews and Christianity in America
There is probably no group at which more fun is poked these days than the "P" in WASP: "Protestant." But in America, the Protestant and the Jewish communities have stood side by side in the early fight against Nazism, in the current fight against neo-Nazism and in many intervening causes for human freedom and dignity.
Book review of Jews in the Protestant Establishment by Richard L. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff.
Another Christmas has come and gone. Jews variously enjoyed it, were indifferent to it, and troubled by it.
As long as increased comfort with this season does not weaken opposition to any actual violation of church-state separation -- and as long as it is accompanied by a strengthened Jewish commitment -- it may not be an index of assimilation at all, but quite the opposite.
There are some high feelings about the apparent failure of Christian clergy to respond to the current plight of Israel with full and spontaneous support.
Religious schools are now getting some government help in terms of non-religious studies and the sky has not fallen. The era of sharp Catholic-Jewish conflict on that subject is probably on the wane.
Jews and Public Affairs
We find ourselves in a perilous period when many of our political friends are part-time friends.
The particular history of the Jews gives them a particular insight into the likelihood that these conditions are going to end up by particularlv skewering the Jews.
On the interplay of the acronymized Jewish agencies and organizations which toil in and around the Washington scene.
When are urban problems Jewish problems? There are two kinds of answers to that riddle.
There are certain technical matters which our technical experts at Jewish institutions can make comment on.
American Jewish political action has reached a new peak in this political year.
For half a century, the Democratic Party has been the political anchor for world Jewry. That anchor has been slipping.
The Jews, as a statistical group, can make a difference, at least in some key states and localities.
Last week's Democratic convention had its special interest for Jews.
Our legislators are now considering many measures which will affect the lives of Jews and Jewish institutions.
A number of different problems relating to "ethnicity" and "group status" are presenting themselves to the Jewish community at this time.
The current flap about providing "sanctuary" in churches and synagogues raises an ancient question -- which has precedence religious conscience or civil law?
Article answering a couple of current-affairs.questions
So, what does the Jewish community do with an issue which seems to have special Jewish self-interest dimensions -- but on which. there is not the kind of consensus which allows for a "community position"?
Politicians are a democratic invention. So why do they have such a bad name?
The new year is hard upon us, and it will b·e a tough year for Jewish public affairs.
"Urban Affairs" is the term used in recent years to describe the massive social problems of the American city, such as poverty, unemployment, poor housing, unsuccessful public education. It is on this front that the organized Jewish community has suffered some coming-apart.
With such a multiple agenda in Jewish public affairs, the magic word becomes "leverage."
This was not anti-election-reform talk, but it was evidence of a growing tendency to take a second look at all traditional liberal "mom's apple pie" proposals, to see what stingers they might present for the contemporary world.
There was a time when left-wing or right-wing Jews joined general left-wing or right-wing organizations. Now there are Jewish organizations for them to join.
What are the boundaries of "Jewish community interest?"
At a time when American Jews are wondering just how much influence they do have to affect events, non-Jewish groups seem to be talking more and more about "Jewish power."
Congress is considering major immigration reform. Now there is a matter of profound concern to Jews.
The public affairs instinct -- and apparatus -- of the American Jewish community are becoming somewhat outmoded.
The public affairs instinct of the American Jewish community has become blunted.
At this juncture of history, the fate of American Jews and Israeli Jews and most other Jews in the world -- not to mention the social values they cherish -- depend heavily on the public policies of the United States government.
It is sometimes useful to issue a statement, hold a meeting, stage a demonstration. But sometimes these activities may be carried on just to satisfy the customers, and have little to do with remedying some real illness.
Jews and the Media
If TV has not yet demonstrated that it has a basic tradition of editorial responsibility, if it is still more entertainment than journalism, then perhaps the TV industry may still have to be formally reminded of its editorial responsibility.
There is always the Partisan Reader's Syndrome at work.
One way and another, a TV station may be as powerful, and as dangerous, as a nuclear reactor.
Jews have a high visibility because of their continuing role in history.
This is an unhappy personal experience which should be shared with you.
It is about time to debunk the Power of the Media.
The Big Lie, perfected by Hitler, is the telling of such a massive untruth so often, that people will tend to accept it as a ballpark truth.
Editorial cartoons have had a special place in journalism.
No newspaper is worth its salt unless it makes everyone angry at one time or another.
If we proceed on the rather well-established premise that American public opinion on the Middle East is most seriously shaped by the expressions of pertinent public officials, then certain strategies for mass media fall into place.
In order to be effective in public affairs as well as constructive, the Jewish community must attempt to make certain distinctions, and adapt different approaches for them.
Most media people who make editorial errors related to Israel are not basically anti-Israel or anti-semitic. But they are consumed with the vocational need to catch attention.
The media will cover those events and issues which are brought to their attention.
Horses can count, but you would not want to put one in charge of the evening news.
On the sort of ethnic caricature that is more than offensive; it is socially irresponsible.
It's not so much that the media are gullible, but that the media want their public to be gullible so that they can more easily sell time and space.
Several members of the American Nazi Party were handing out leaflets in San Francisco.
An atmosphere of violence, whatever its causes, comes to have its own existence. like Frankenstein's monster.
A Yeshiva in Santa Clara, California, won a victory last week which few people expected. It is worth knowing how and why.
An exciting thing is happening in the Jewish Community of San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula.
It has been fashionable to attack businessmen as a class or at least to place special social responsibility on them because of their power.
The fact is that direct confrontation between Jews and Arabs in this country generally takes place on one college campus or another.
How well do Jews and non-Jews mix socially in San Francisco?
Gertrude Stein would be interested to know that Nazis and other assorted anti-Jewish types are making news in Oakland.
Mayor Dianne Feinstein's highly publicized veto last week created a dense fog of discussion about "rights."
There is now a Congregation Sha'ar Zahav in San Francisco, specifically "reaching out to the gay community."
San Francisco has always been a "laboratory" in which to see what will happen eventually to a highly integrated Jewish population.
When there are hungry people in our city, it must simply be an imperative of our common religious heritage -- and of our Jewish heritage independently -- to share our food, if we are to call ourselves religious, if we are to call ourselves Jews.
The magic characteristics of San Francisco -- which drew so many people -- and which have provided so many young people an irreplaceably rich, diverse and exciting environment in which to grow -- are still here.
The problem is that Measure E reflects and feeds some unfortunate tendencies in this country -- unfortunate for the U.S. and for Israel. And, according to some observers, Jesse Jackson's campaign reflects those same unfortunate tendencies.
The San Francisco Jewish community seems to be rapidly losing its civility.
A delegation from the San Francisco Jewish community is about to make a protest to the West German consulate here, The subject is possible West German arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
For the first time all meals of the West Coast Conference of Jewish comunity center workers, held last week in San Rafael, were Kosher.
Jewish youth, as a group, by and large have a stronger religious impulse than their parents had, and are trying to find ways of expressing it within a Jewish context.
There is an illuminating connection between the sayings of Jessie Jackson and the Berkeley initiative to ditch Israel.
The Initiative came into some vogue around the turn of the century as part of a reform movement to bring power "back to the people." It was a reaction against the worst kind of political back-roomism. But reform often needs reform, and the Initiative should now be a prime candidate.
Reduce American aid to Israel by an "amount equal to the most accurate approximation of what Israel spends annually on settlements in the occupied territories ... of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights," that was the specific action required by Measure E.
Last week, the Board of Rabbis of Northern California voted to support the legalization of any private sexual act between consenting adults, including those now forbiddep by law.
There is a clammy feeling about too much blending of government and science. Human affairs are too important for the scientists.
However they may be finally weighed, the special concern of the Archbishop in Central America, of the Latinos and Chinese in the multilingual ballot, of the Jews in Israel, are all legitimate American phenomena.
Members of the Arab-American community in San Francisco are now at the stage of becoming more visible.
A few years ago, this local Jewish community felt that it was not yet taking full advantage of the new era in communications, and set up the Hass Hedia Project.
The crimve wave we are witnessing in San Francisco has called forth the usual tidal wave of off-target rhetoric.
There needs to be support for strict, effective and just enforcement of the law on every front; including resistance to sloppy scofflaw tendencies which attempt to put bank-bombings or drug traffic in a more favorable category thall murder or rape.
As a person, as a great Jewish heart, Ben Swig is irreplaceable. But his sense of community and political wisdom can live on in the communal habits he helped to inculcate, and in the institutions he helped to create.
Is it possible that people make their decisions on the basis of an internal consistency which has I ittle to do with "I iberal ism," "conservatism" or such molds but, rather, with an intelligent appraisal of each issue as it may affect their enlightened self-interest?
Rabbi Saul White's death did not end an era. Rather, his memory stands for a new era which he helped to start some time ago, and which is still growing.
George Moscone's involvement with the Jewish community was more than a politician's chore.
Nazism and Holocaust Remembrance
Thirty-six years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, what have we learned?
San Francisco has officially proclaimed a "Week of Remembrance" -- to remember the victims of Nazism.
Next week will mark the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
There should be a further investtgation into Kurt Waldheim's war-time activities -- and an investigation into why the United Nations and others did not pursue such an investigation earlier.
The overwhelming support of the San Francisco community, Jewish and otherwise, will continue for this memorial, and it will be a stunning contribution to the city.
The Jewish community won a signal victory last week when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Feodor Fedorenko, Nazi concentration camp guard.
Some of us will never forget that Feb. 20 of 1939, the day of the largest anti-Nazi demonstration in American history.
Bikur Cholim is a local charitable organization comprising mainly survivors of the Holocaust. It was created as a mutual self-help association, in order to help people in trouble.
A few years back we began to realize that even movies about the Nazi era were thinning out; and generations were growing up without any firsthand knowledge of what the swastika had stood for.
Dear President Ford: It was obvious that you were deeply and genuinely moved by your visit to Auschwitz last week.
A concern for the world is hollow unless it starts with an active concern for one person in trouble.
There is a frightening moral bankruptcy in efforts to equate all terrible events with Nazism, and to equate all of Nazism with the Holocaust.
In support of the Refugee Act of 1979.
The American government's campaign against unprosecuted Nazi criminals in the U.S. seems back on the track.
Mottele was a 12 year old boy whose family had all been killed by the Nazis. He undertook dangerous espionage missions for Jewish partisans.
It is sickening to see how often the Jewish experience of oppression and Holocaust is manipulated and cheapened.
Book review of Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyons by Tom Bower.
The world has remembered, with a bang that will be heard through the corridors of the White House for some time to come.
No, the ultimate social evil is not waging war, but imprisoning, oppressing, degrading the free spirit of the living. But no war can be waged without degrading the human spirit, even if it must be waged in order to save the human spirit.
Some American Jews,weak on history and having fallen victim themselves to the mass media, are perhaps a bit too preoccupied with what is in front of their nose, and don't see the deeper precipices ahead.
In modern Western history, there is only one event, affecting only one group, which fits this definition of holocaust, and probabiy epitomizes it for all time. That is the Nazi Holocaust.
In-service training courses for teachers attempt to demostrate relevance of the Nazi experience to modern problems.
Everyone seems to be missing the main failure of American Jews with respect to the Holocaust.
Book review of Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust by David S. Wyman.
Next time around , if there is a next time around, totalitarianism will probably come in more sophisticated forms -- but its essence, and its effects will be the same. Recognizing that essence, and those effects is one purpose for remembering what happened in Germany in the 1930s.
Oppressed Jewry in the Middle East
Compare the Damascus Affair of 1974 with the Damascus Affair of 1840. It will show you how little progress the Jews have made in much of the world.
One way or another, for whatever reason, Persia/Iran promises to be no place for Jews.
The conflict between Iraq and Iran reminds us of the unique extent to which the Jews have been "on stage" in world history.
Jewish radicals have tended to participate in socialist movements, which were spinning social blueprints for the future -- rather than in nihilistically anarchist movements which were only spending hatred on the present.
Political extremism is of special interest to the Jews because it has always been linked to disaster for Jews.
Without a following no Nazi movement can develop.
We cannot be either complacent or inactive about what tragedy history might bring us.
If there was a Social Temperature gauge, today's world would register some ominous degree of fever.
What's going on in the world? Is it just madness, or is there some kind of pattern?
There's no reason to assume that America is going to lose its battle with these social problems.
We are in a period when another backlash is at least posible, this one in reaction to the emergence of the racial minorities into the economic and political mainstream.
The bottom line is that while there doesn't seem to be substantially more anti-Semites than in the recent past, the anti-Semites have become more terroristic.
There is good reason for us to be worried about our security as Jews these days.
The three top Democratic presidential hopefuls went in to see George Wallace last week -- and laid the world at his feet.
Without abandoning their passionate differences, American Jews and Arab Americans should join together to fight thetr common enemies.
The history of divisive and destructive political extremism, in this country and others, has often been prefaced by indifference.
Meier Kahane and Louis Farrakhan, both of whom are likely to show up in San Franciso one of these days, have at least one thing in common: they are becoming public personalities in this country, drawing audiences far beyond their own membership circles.
Poverty, Welfare, and Social Gaps
The community action program of the war against poverty is apparently revealed as a war against the poverty of the disadvantaged racial and ethnic communities.
Is the California "taxpayers' revolt" a sign of right wing backlash?
Jewish history gives us a special reason to fight unemployment; it does not give us any special expertise in the specific way to do so.
It is hard to tell whether the "New Federalism" is basically a "liberal" or a "conservative" concept.
The proponents of cut-back say that taxes are too high. Too high for what? We have lower taxes than most of the industrialized countries of the world.
The lraqi Jews have a saying: "By the time I prove who I am, I can be stripped of my skin."
Because of the growing welfare role of the government, local institutions of the Jewish Welfare Federation -- such as the Jewish Home for the Aged, the Jewish Community Centers, The Jewish Family Service Agency, Homewood Terrace, and Mt. Zion Hospital -- are coming together through the mechanism of the JCRC to evaluate the effect of public policy.
If Reagan's program fails to stem inflation, or cut government costs, then the New Radical Far Right might be able to launch an extremist movement, which could well be anti-Semitic.
Runaway government expenditure, as one factor in runaway inflation, will certainly undermine the American society.
Some might call this proposal heartless. Some might refer to the callous uses of political ambition. Assembly Speaker Leo McCarthy calls it "unthinkable." But it is also a most remarkable mis-reading of Proposition 13.
Jew has been accustomed to moving in certain traditional occupational channels. which are no longer going to be available in the same way.
Jewish businessmen, as a lot, have been more socially responsible than other businessmen, as a lot. But Levi Strauss achieved a particular reputation for social responsibility in San Francisco before his death in 1902.
It is necessary to make the city generally more hospitable to young stable families.
Jewish institutions must make sure that they have enough private support from the Jewish community that they do not become critically dependent on government funds.
Care for the needy aged was discussed in Sacramento early this week, as a "Jewish issue."
It is very possible that 30 million people will die of hunger this coming year. But that is only the beginning of the problem.
The problem of reducing the welfare rolls is closely related to the problem of reducing unemployment.
The fact of the matter is that the members of the American Jewish Congress here, in addition to the above considerations, are also concerned with just helping people who need help.
Private philanthropic agencies are now receiving more money from the government than from their private donors.
The spectre that forms in more than one Jewish mind is that of an earlier Germany: inflation, disruption, a bitter and disaffected middle class which formed the backbone of the Nazi movement.
The organized Jewish community in the San Francisco area is now deeply involved in these problems related to the aged poor.
There is always a direct connection between poverty and crime.
Public Education and Jews
In the coming days, the subject of tax credit for private school tuition will be decided in Congress.
Parents who are interested in the education of their children will seize this unusual opportunity for involvement.
The common public schools, and the common values which they embody, would be critical for the maintenance of a democratic America.
The Jewish community is officially committed to 1) the support of private Jewish day schools; 2) the support of public schools. That double commitment will continue to be in tension.
The Jewish community has a critical stake in the development of an integrated America, and in the health of the public school system.
This is a new experience for San Francisco, our first elected school board.
Money alone will not solve the problems. But some of the problems cannot be solved without more money.
One of the prime and painful public affairs issues for the Jewish community in the coming year will be the biggest drive yet, on national and state levels, for school vouchers.
Are the Jews an "ethnic group?" There was a time when it might have been more difficult to make that point.
The public school, as a unifier of crazy-quilt America, a symbol of governmental neutrality toward religion, a social equalizer, a common carrier of democratic values, has always been especially important for American Jews .
It is not a new interest for the Jewish community taht all the children in the schools be taught something about Jewish history and contributions.
Let's finally be clear that the common public school is most important insofar as it relays something about common human history: in this case, the need for continual social change, and the democratic process.
Democracy, American style, might be defined as the majority of the people getting what they want -- eventually.
Underneath the apparent mess, there are children, of all population groups, who are getting a better education than ever before.
This is a period of declining intergroup conflict' n the schools of this area, as compared with the recent past.
Religion and Politics
Fundamentalist forces are the only reiligious groups which are growing in this country -- and however they may support Israel, or contribute to Jewish Welfare Federations, they are dangerous to our way of life as long as their avowed mission is to make America "more Christian" by political means.
It is of unusual importance that we be clear about the role of the Moral Majority -- in the last election, and in the mood of the country.
The Chicken Little tendency serves to blunt the analytical quality of the Jewish public affairs mind -- and therefore seriously hinders the ability of the Jews to defend themselves effectively against real skyfalling possibilities.
As we enter our religious Holy Days, we should not get too excited about the absurd pseudo-debate on whether we should keep any mention of religious values out of political discussion.
Religion and the Schools
The "church-state question" is not always cut-and-dried.
Discussion of several Bay Area Jewish community issues from 1973.
There is an effort to include Judea-Christian creation belief in the California public school system, in order to counter the theory of evolution. Consideration should be given to other creation beliefs.
There is a strong Jewish consensus, of course, on the general matter of resisting sectarian religious instrucion in the public schools. But the problem is to define what is.
Perhaps the Jewish community should be more actively involved in trying to increase school study about religions, in a way that will be nonsectarian. It may be risky, but so is the tendency to "ignore religion or treat it as a topic of minimal importance."
The public scllool is an instrument of government. The teacher is an agent of government. When they prescribe which prayers they will lead in the classroom, they are imposing their tyranny on some people's religious values.
Soviet Jews and their Struggle for Freedom
The concern for the state of freedom within the Soviet Union is now a general one.
The following letter has come into our hands from Vladimir Sverdlin of Leningrad, who has been refused a visa for 3 years.
Like it or not, the world's freedom begins here. And, among other thing, the survival of world Jewry depends upon it.
There is evidence that this population of Jews who have not applied for emigration, but who want to maintain some Jewish identification, is substantial in number.
The Jews are being used again. This time, as a weapon against the United States.
The ultimate effect of the "July Propoaal" would be either that all Soviet Jewish emigres go to Israel, with an intention of remaining there -- or that those Soviet Jewl who wanted to go elsewhere would not even apply for a visa to leave Russia.
The question is whether holding the Olympics in Moscow would bring us closer to peace --or closer to the precipice of war.
There are fewer and fewer Jews in the Soviet Union.
An imagined conversation between Brezhnev and the Kremlin's Chief Monitor of the American West Coast.
As the Jewish community prepares for the opening of the Soviet Consulate in San Francisco, it is reminded of the many critical ways in which that country controls the destiny of at least five million Jews.
There is obviously a large number of Soviet Jews who consider Israel to be their Homeland and these are the Jews with whom we are mainly in contact.
Is it any wonder that Jewish organizations have a special sensitivity to such matters as due process and free speech?
The world's tolerance for nonsense is being tested to the limit by the current discussion about the Olympics.
There was a serious breakdown of social order in New York last week.
To put it boldly, if the American society becomes overwhelmingly involved in the heady business of doing business with Russia - Soviet Jewry could become a very expendable item.
It would be very peculiar to congratulate the Soviet Union, however slightly, at the very time that it was cracking down so brutally on Soviet Jewish leaders even if it was allowing emigration.
the Soviet Union wants to and is preparing to get rid of its conscious Jews by emigration. But it wants to do so without damaging its general principle of "no emigration."
Evangelical Christians and the Jews in the Soviet Union have clearly discovered one thing in common: persecution by the Soviet regime.
The Soviet Jewry scene may change drastically during the next year.
It is common knowledge that there are Jews in Soviet prison camps today, mainly for the reason that they are practicing Jews.
There is really nothing new in the world of anti-Semitism.
Jewish fate is tied up with the Soviet Union in two different and somewhat conflicting ways.
According to recent visitors to Russia from San Francisco, these Soviet Jews are interested in reading and learning more about Jewish history, language and philosophy.
The Reagan administration's approach to the Soviet Union may have a less beneficial impact on Soviet Jews than on Israel.
Our advice is that your country's current campaign of official and over anti-Semitism is a terrible mistake.
Book review of Next Year in Jerusalem by Avital Scharansky.
Jewish Agency resources are being strained by the New Wave of Jewish immigrants to America.
In the coming period, "harassment" will probably be a more imporant issue for Soviet Jews than "emigration."
The Jewish community agenda was simply to try to get help for Soviet Jews.
The life of the "refuseniks" is not very pleasant, to say the least.
There have been various pressures over the past year to make Leningrad a sister city of San Francisco.
The orderly demonstration in front of the Soviet Consul ate last week was on the mark.
The "Jewish Question" has arisen in troubled Poland, a country where there are scarcely any Jews left.
The issue then, as it is now, was Russian discrimination against Jews in the matter of immigration.
More Jewish refugees are coming to the United States than are going to Israel.
The fact is that there are about 200 thousand Soviet Jews who have indicated that they want to leave; and who have received letters of invitation from relatives in Israel, the first step needed for visa application.
The most serious leverage we have on the Soviet Union is that of official American opinion and policy, as it affects political and economic needs of the Soviet hierarchy.
To ignore the possibility of a 1980 Moscow Olympiad would be a serious disservice to Soviet Jews.
The San Francisco JCRC is asking a number of influential people in the San Francisco area to wire Soviet officials on August 12, 20 years after the murder of Peretz Markish, asking for the release of his son, David.
Outside the U.S., Israel and fairly hospitable countries like England or Denmark, three and a half million Jews are living in uneasy situations of one kind or another.
These arrests and imprisonments are warnings.
The principles of human rights are all right in their place, but when it comes to the Jews...
It is now possible for Congress to seriously consider the Case-Bayh bill in the Senate and the Koch bill in the House which would authorize 30 thousand emergency visas to the United States for Soviet Jews.
On any given day, official Soviet society is against us; on any given day, the official American society is on our side, on the side of democratic procedure. That is no small difference.
The issue of Soviet Jewry must be isolated as a humanitarian issue, otherwise it can be made to appear that American Jews are manufacturing and using a Soviet Jewry issue just to harrass the Soviet Union, for other purposes.
The Jewish community has had to broadcast too often in recent years: "Jew in Trouble."
When lives are at stake, one cannot ignore the signal game.
The opinion of the Soviet citizenry was never a consideration for the Soviet government.
Surveys of Attitudes
Exactly 80 percent of San Francisco Jews said that Jewish agencies should get "very involved" in the protection of free speech.
Over the past few years, the members of the San FOranoisco area Jewish community have had a dramatically persistent pattern of attitudes about the lliddle East.
On the surface, the American public seems to have become less favorable towards Israel.
The question is: Should we believe the polls?
Over 80 percent of the American public placed some blame on Israel for the Beirut massacre.
Adherents of the "standard Iiberal agenda" have been shrinking in number; so have the Jewish adherents.
When we complain about the bias of the media against Israel, we often forget that the dramatic series and the movies take up much more TV time and have a more lasting effect on the audience than does the news reporting.
Whoever.sits in the White House almost single-handedly shapes American public opinion on Israel.
By and large, the American people are overwhelmingly favorable towards the Israeli cause -- but they do not have an absolute love or commitment to Israel.
At hand is a comparison of some of the social attitudes of American Jews, and of San Francisco-area Jews.
Periodically the JCRC measures the oplnlons of a broad spectrum of Jews in San Francisco, Marin and the Peninsula.
The majority of Jewish voters are not about to be hooked just by some rousing speech on Israel.
The critical underlying question is not how much people love Israel, but rather, .how much they understand the importance to America of Israel's security.
The initial results of this Bulletin survey raises many questions for further analysis.
We now have some new reliable information on what Americans think about Israel and the Middle East.
Negative feelings towards Israel do not coincide with negative feelings towards Jews, according to the evidence. And yet...
Are American Jews changing the pattern of their political party loyalties?
There is an important reason to keep asking the American people, over and over again, what they think about Israel.
What do American Jews really think about Israel's foreign policy?
For the "Jewish community," traditions of Jewish education, of communal Kashruth, of social justice, presumably must be balanced with majority opinion on any given day.
To state it grossly, the figures seem to suggest a rising "ethnic" conscioasness, and a dropping "religious" consciousness.
About a survey of public opinion on presidential choices.
Behind all the terrible developments on the international and domestic scene, perhaps everything is not unravelling.
The war goal is singular: isolate the United States so that it will wither on the vine.
There would scarcely be room in the daily press to report on all the attempts by one set of human beings to butcher another set of human beings on behalf of one political idea or another.
You can do something about it.
The Practice of Community Relations
Individual Jews and Jewish groups do not have to remain silent on matters about which there is not a clear Jewish consensus -- but, in those cases, they should make it clear that they are only speaking for themselves.
A publication of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy, Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal, at Service Brandeis University
There are some ominous signs of a long-range organizational deterioration in the Jewish community relations system.
The San Francisco Jewish community makes policy on two kinds of occasions: When disbursing funds, and when taking positions on public issues.
Uniqueness of San Francisco and the Jews
At the least, it would make an interesting and instructive parlor game some quiet evenings, if you were to try to assess that question: what difference would it make to San Francisco if the Jews were to disappear overnight?
Profile of a Jewish Community.
Values of Activism and Informed Leadership
It is a time when you can make a difference.
That is a very common question, but some weeks it is harder to answer than others.
Americans who say that "we are too powerless to change things" are often people who haven't really tried.
The state legislature last week closed its doors on the regular 1977 session, and on several bills which were of interest to the Jewish community.
Jewish life has not lost its authenticity; we have just lost our sense of it.
Phone call for phone call, letter for letter, public officials hear more often from their Jewish constituents than from any other constituency.
Every Congreaeman understands that the number of letters received is a better index to the constituency's nate of mind than a public opinion poll.
Many of those who worry about American Foreign Policy on the Middle East -- or other national policies -- will soon have a chance to do something very directly about it. But will they?
It is not at all clear that the United States is going to "sell Israel down the river."
"Leadership" may be the most sorely missed quality in American life today -- and it may be the least understood.
Anyone really looking for a Jewish community in the San Francisco area will find that, however imperfect it may be, there is a there here.
There are some working matters, related to populist slogans, which should be understood by all participants at the beginning.
The fact is that things are pretty bad. They will probably get a I ittle worse in the year ahead. But we are not helpless.
The California State Capitol is one of the lively arenas of organized Jewish activity, revealing the variety of issues which concern the Jewish community.
Sometimes it is necessary to live with frustration, to understand that some remote political action is the most important and effective job one can do.
Violence and Accountability
The Jury decision on Coy Ray Phelps disturbed many of us. But it's not the frrst time we have baen disturbed by society's fumblmg attempts to reconcile crime with mental illness.
How do we draw the line?
Do you believe that a murderer should never be put to death?
There are circumstances in which violence is not only morally acceptable but morally required.
Jews have always been preoccupied with the subject of punishment.
Nothing is more callous than the hypocritical cant of those who hide their negative political beliefs about America and sometimes their contempt for the sacredness of human life -- under the mask of a self-virtuous and false pacifism.