Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
November 2014
From Prof. Steven M. Cohen: 
A Dual Challenge: Delegitimation & Disaffiliation 


     This year's General Assembly of the Jewish Federation movement comes at a particularly challenging time for the Jewries of North America, and the world, for that matter.  


     It comes just one year after the release of the Pew study with its evidence of severe demographic and cultural challenges to the majority of Jews who are not Orthodox. And it comes just a few months after the Gaza War provoked surges in disaffection with Israel, particularly among politically progressive parts of the population which most Jews see as their cultural and political home.   


     Perhaps these challenges have been with us for years (as some of us have argued). But they have never been as vividly presented and never has the dual challenge-of a delegitimized Israel and a disaffiliated North American Jewry-been so paramount.   


     For this, if not other good reasons as well, the upcoming GA affords an opportunity for Jewish communal leadership, both lay and professional, to engage in serious deliberation about the major challenges to our population, our community, and our future.   


     This Resource Guide, produced independently by BJPA, aims to enrich that conversation. It offers valuable background material linked to the scheduled sessions, adding to your understanding of the speakers and of the topic of their conversations. Enjoy the Guide-and, most of all, enjoy the GA! 


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