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ABCs of Jewish Communal Life

ABCs of Jewish Communal Life



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Published by Joel Alan Katz

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Published by: Joel Alan Katz on Dec 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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© Jeremy Burton, Rabbi Jill Jacobs & Jewish FundS for Justice
2006 1
The ABCs of Jewish communal life
Combining material prepared by Jeremy Burton and by Rabbi Jill JacobsRevised for the Jewish FundS for Justice
© Jeremy Burton, Rabbi Jill Jacobs & Jewish FundS for Justice
2006 2
Table of contents
A working definition of the organized Jewish community 3The Conference of Presidents 4The Defense organizations—ADL, AJCommittee, AJCongress 6The Jewish Council of Public Affairs 8The Movements 9The United Jewish Communities (aka: The Federation system) 12American Zionism 14World Zionist Congress 15The key Israel groups 16 Jewish Washington 17Other organizations of note 18The Foundation world 20The Jewish Social Justice world 21Addendum: Israeli Parties 30
© Jeremy Burton, Rabbi Jill Jacobs & Jewish FundS for Justice
2006 3
What is the “Organized Jewish Community” or “Mainstream Jewish Communal System?”
Written by Jeremy Burton
A working definition:
Those organizations that participate in the primary “consensus” bodies of thenational Jewish community (Specifically the
Conference of Presidents of Major American JewishOrganizations
and to a lesser extent the
 Jewish Council for Public Affairs
). By participating in theconsensus, these individual organizations agree - to one degree or another - to regularly set asidepersonal ideology and distinct values to come together and speak as one common Jewish voice onmatters of broad communal interest – in particular in defense of Israel and of Jewish communitiesaround the world. Through this process they effectively value alignment with the concept of “TheCommunity” above the importance of individual organizations.Accounting for overlaps in membership, it is estimated that these 60 odd organizations, together withtheir affiliates (e.g. brotherhoods, rabbinic & cantorial associations), sub-groups (e.g. individual federations within the UJC umbrella), local chapters and member synagogues collectively represent atbest ½ of all self-identified Jews in the United States.By this generous estimate, nearly half of all Jews in this country are not members of (even under themost generous definition) or participants in the “mainstream Jewish community.”

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