JTS Rabbis and Israel, Then and Now: The 2011 Survey of JTS Ordained Rabbis and Current Students

By Steven M. Cohen

Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), September 2, 2011

The Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) commissioned this study in light of widespread concern in the Jewish community about decreasing attachment on the part of younger North American Jews to Israel. This concern comes along with the concomitant concern about weakening bonds to Israel and the Jewish people of future Conservative leaders. The author of this report finds that current JTS students retain the high levels of fervent relation to Israel of their predecessors in the Conservative rabbinate. Political opinions have shifted over the decades, but love for Israel remains strong. While younger rabbis and students do indeed differ from their elders and predecessors, the difference is hardly about declining connection or attachment or the emergence of some (or even a few) "anti-Israel" rabbis who manage to squelch free and serious discourse about Israel. Rather, the trends point to the emergence of a "liberal Zionism," one which bears many parallels with that advanced by Labor Zionists of the past, or many of the opposition parties in Israel today. This move may provoke some right-wing Zionists or supporters of the current Israeli government some measure of anxiety. But it does not constitute a turn to the abandonment of Israel -- at least not by rabbis trained or now studying at JTS.

Topic: Liberalism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Young Adults, Masorti Judaism, Rabbinate, Generational Issues, Israel Attachment, Conservative Judaism, Survey, Higher Education, Clergy, Zionism

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Genre: Report

Coverage: Israel , New York, New York , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Cohen, Steven M. JTS Rabbis and Israel, Then and Now: The 2011 Survey of JTS Ordained Rabbis and Current Students. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS). 2 September 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13348


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