Jewish political movements and List of Jews in politics A range of moral and political views is evident early in the history of Judaism, that serves to partially explain the diversity that is apparent among secular Jews who are often influenced by moral beliefs that can be found in Jewish scripture, and traditions. While Diaspora Jews have also been represented in the conservative side of the political spectrum, even politically conservative Jews have tended to support pluralism more consistently than many other elements of the political right. Some scholars  attribute this to the fact that Jews are not expected to proselytizederived from Halakha. This lack of a universalizing religion is combined with the fact that most Jews live as minorities in diaspora countries, and that no central Jewish religious authority has existed since CE.
Jews gained untold riches in America, but lost their heritage and spirituality. Part 58 - Jewish Life in America Jews gained untold riches in America, but lost much of their heritage and spirituality. When we last left off the Jews of America—at the beginning of the 19th century—there were only about 6, of them.
That changed in the s when the Jews of Germany began to arrive.
By there were about 17, Jews living in America. By there were aboutMost of these Jews moved to the New York area, which at this time had a Jewish population ofIt would soon grow to 1. The ones who made it quickly moved up to the Upper East Side. And these Jews did remarkably well in the New World.
Some famous names of those who made it rich quick were: These are just a few famous names. There were many others. He was a German Jewish immigrant who was the founder and the first president of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, which opened in It was the first American rabbinical seminary, and it had unusually liberal standards.
Writes Joseph Telushkin in Jewish Literacy p. Today, quite literally, there is no religious action a Reform rabbi can take for which he or she would be thrown out of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the official body of Reform rabbis.
The more traditional attendees were horrified when course after course presented one traif [non-kosher] dish after another: It was called the Jewish Theological Seminary, and it became the bastion of the new, purely-American, Conservative Movement.
The head of the Jewish Theological Seminary, a respected Jewish scholar from Cambridge, England, named Solomon Schechter helped shape the ideology of the new movement.
In other words, as it is interpreted by tradition. Another consequence of this conception of tradition is that neither scripture nor primitive Judaism but general custom which forms the real rule of practice.
Liberty was always given to the great teachers of every generation to make modifications and innovations in harmony with the spirit of existing institutions. Hence a return to Mosaism [Orthodoxy] would be illegal, pernicious and indeed, impossible.
This was a dramatic departure from the traditional attitude toward the interpretation and application of Jewish law. One of the pillars of traditional Jewish belief was and is that the Talmud is THE source for all Jewish law and that those rabbis who lived closer to the revelation at Mount Sinai had a clearer understanding of Jewish law and its application, and therefore their decisions could NOT be discarded.
New rulings on modern issues must take into account established principles.
When the Conservative Movement discarded this pillar of traditional Judaism, it opened a door to countless problems.
The end result was that, although the founders of the movement felt Reform had gone too far, the behavior of their followers proved virtually indistinguishable from those of Reform Jews. We will discuss these repercussions further when we take up the subject of assimilation in a future installment.
How many Jews came to America in this time period? As noted earlier see Part 57 between andsome 50, Jews left Eastern Europe every year to a total of 2. The vast majority of these Jews were poor and arrived in New York with little or nothing. They had little to lose in coming to America except perhaps their Judaism.
And, alas, this is what happened. The great rabbis did not come among them, and lacking teachers and religious leaders to act against the pressures from the Americanized German Jews, these poor Eastern European Jews assimilated quickly. We will examine the problem of assimilation in America in future installments.
The pious, yeshiva-educated Jews did not come in the great migrations. For the most part, the rabbis—fearing that America was the Golden Land of Assimilation disguised as the Golden Land of Economic Opportunity—preached against immigration.
The greatest test for vast majority of these new arrivals was the issue of the Sabbath.
America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries had a six day work week. Sunday was the only day of rest.The First World War, the most appallingly savage international conflict in all preceding history, had a profound impact on world Jewry. This was due to the existence of a large concentration of Jews within one of the principal arenas, the enlistment of unprecedented numbers of Jews to the armies.
Japanese Americans shared the same physical characteristics as the Japanese, so Americans began to inaccurately associate them with the enemy. In this way, the racial stereotypes found in WWII propaganda prompted cultural hatred that transcended borders. Similarly, individual Jewish identity and the viability of Jewish communal life in the United States are tied to the cultural integrity of the American Jewish family.
The historic Jewish family, in various countries and in various periods, has demonstrated great resilience in the face of physical, spiritual and economic pressures. Both Jewish and external sources yield plentiful information about groups and individuals living within the Roman Empire that had totally or partially adopted Judaism and assimilated the Jewish way of life.
As Americans confronted what appeared to be the imminent prospect of unchallenged Nazi dominion over the entire European continent, it was hardly surprising that except for some Jews, few paid much attention to what was happening to Europe's Jewish population under Nazi rule.
Similarly, individual Jewish identity and the viability of Jewish communal life in the United States are tied to the cultural integrity of the American Jewish family.
The historic Jewish family, in various countries and in various periods, has demonstrated great resilience .