This is an address given by David M. Gordis, the Executive Vice President of the American Jewish Committee at its annual meeting on May 3, 1985. Gordis looks at the special "marginal" role occupied in American society by Jews. He states that when Americans choose to live outside Israel, they are nevertheless choosing a Jewish future with deep ties to the Jewish tradition. At the same time it is an American future that Jews can help shape, guided by their tradition. In Gordis's view, the unique role that American Jews can play is one that helps develop approaches that will bring the Jewish ethical outlook on social and political issues. To achieve this, he calls on Jews to explore their own value system more thoroughly and work harder to synthesize their Jewish character, their American national heritage, and their own basic humanity.