Moment Zoominar: Jewish Political Voices Project – Swing States and the Jewish Vote

At a time when polls dominate, project founder Nadine Epstein and director Suzanne Borden review preliminary findings from Moment’s unique Jewish Political Voices Project, which has been following real people in real time in 10 swing states. We will also hear directly from participants including former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley from Nevada, Rabbi Dan Levin from Florida, Mark Goldhaber from North Carolina and Ruth Kantrowitz from Wisconsin. Also joining us is Chicago Sun Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet.

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Confronting Passover, 1865

By 1865, it seemed self-evident that American emancipation resonated with biblical emancipation in powerful ways. But it had not always been so: This new resonance of meaning captured the hearts of American Jews only during the vicissitudes of the Civil War. Before the Civil War, most American Jews did not oppose slavery. There were exceptions, but most Jews voted Democrat, and Democrats were tolerant of slavery. The anti-slavery parties were tarred with nativism, which was distasteful and threatening to a Jewish community composed largely of immigrants and first-generation Americans. And many, including such luminaries as the Reform rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise and the Orthodox rabbi Morris Raphall, considered acceptance of American slavery consonant with the Bible, which documents slavery and sets parameters for its practice within the Israelite community. 

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What Israeli School Children Learn About American Jewish Life

The year 2017 was another rocky one in the relationship between Israel and many American Jews, punctuated by conflict over matters once considered common ground. Some controversies—including a backlash over comments about American Jews’ military service by Israeli deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely—suggest a level of misunderstanding that could end up harming both sides.

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