Strengthening the Connection of American Jews to Israel: A case study of one attempt to transform the place of Israel in Four St. Louis Synagogues

By Lisa D. Grant, Ezra Kopelowitz

Research Success Technologies, December 2009

This paper offers a conceptual model for congregational professionals and lay leaders to think of Israel engagement as part of a larger process of involvement in congregational and communal life. To facilitate involvement in general, it is important to understand the different groups within a congregation, their Jewish needs and motivations and the manner in which, due to their needs and motivations, congregants will respond to an Israel engagement initiative.

This paper also offers a research-based understanding of the broader move among American Jewish policy makers and educational professionals towards a paradigm that emphasizes meaningful engagement of individuals with Israel. While there is a wave Israel engagement initiatives taking place in many sectors of the American Jewish community, there is little empirical research to guide that process. The analysis for this paper is based on a research study of four congregations that are engaged in a Jewish Federation of St. Louis initiative called Knesset Israel (KI) that is designed to increase the level and quality of Israel engagement in congregational life. The analysis shows that the most involved congregants are also the most likely to respond positively to an Israel engagement initiative. The authors argue that these involved congregants will likely, as a result of more intensive Israel engagement, also intensify their involvement in congregational life in general.

Topic: Engagement, Israel Attachment, Affiliation, Synagogues and Congregations

Funder: Jewish Federation of St. Louis

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Genre: Report

Coverage: St. Louis, Missouri

Language: English

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Grant, Lisa D. Kopelowitz, Ezra. Strengthening the Connection of American Jews to Israel: A case study of one attempt to transform the place of Israel in Four St. Louis Synagogues. Research Success Technologies. December 2009: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4147


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