American Council for Judaism

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The American Council for Judaism (ACJ) is an integrationist organization of American Jews committed to the principles of Judaism and of American democracy and to the proposition that Jews are neither a nationality nor a race in the modern world, but rather a religious group consisting of people of many nationalities and all races and from all streams (or denominations) of Judaism.[1] It supports the original stated progressive principles of Reform Judaism,[2] as articulated in the 1885 Pittsburgh Platform. The ACJ is has been a strong supporter of equal rights for women, including having women as rabbis which was pioneered by Reform Judaism and later spread to Reconstructionist and Conservative Judaism. The American Council for Judaism has supported Reform Jewish congregations and contributed to the publication of new editions of prayer books for religious services predominately in the English language for Jews in English speaking countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada where few Jews can communicate fluently in Hebrew.[3]

America pioneers democracy and freedom of religion[edit]

The establishment of the United States of America was a truly revolutionary event in world history—a representative democracy founded on the recognition that everyone has God given rights which the government is there to protect. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."[4] Americans like the Pilgrims in 1620 had come the New World from other places in order to establish a new commonwealth shaped by their reading of the Hebrew Bible, where they would have religious and political freedom and the opportunity to realize their potential. Puritans fled England because they would not submit to forced prayer and saw themselves as the 17th century version of the Biblical Israelites building a city on a hill.[5] In early colonial times, Roger Williams had established the colony of Rhode Island as a place where those fleeing religious persecution would not in turn become the persecutors of others, but rather the guarantors of the religious freedom of all.[6] It was the first government on earth formed by those beliefs. Williams established a separation of church and state, not because he did not care about religion, but rather because this renowned Protestant preacher cared so deeply and was aware of the corrupting influence of politics on religion and of religion on politics. Williams believe it was "monstrous" to compel another person to accept religious beliefs.[7] Thomas Jefferson considered his drafting of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom to be one of his three greatest accomplishments.[8] James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others among our founding fathers recognized the vital importance of protecting the freedom of the people from any attempted future government abridgement. Ben Franklin was one of the three largest contributors among 44 citizens of all faiths toward paying for the Mikvah Israel synagogue in Philadelphia.[9] The United States Bill of Rights enacted in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The American religious ideal has been unity without uniformity. The American concept that freedom of religion is not a matter of tolerance, but of God given right, resulted in a free and democratic environment which produced the greatest nation on Earth. In the words of George Washington: "It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."[10] America has also made great strides toward equality. Jews coming to America also left behind them the "all pervasive authority of the Jewish community...The individual was far freer...He had left the 'ghetto' to become a pioneer on the American 'frontier'..."[11] In this environment, many religions have been established and flourished, including Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism as well as numerous Protestant denominations. There has never been a Jewish community in the history of the world that has had the freedom, security and opportunity of the Jewish community in the United States of America. The American Council for Judaism acts as a proud and enthusiastic advocate of the American form of representative, democratic government and the pluralistic American way of life.[12] The ACJ advocates the extension of all the precious freedoms enjoyed by Americans to people of all faiths and races in all nations.

Formation[edit]

The ACJ was founded in June 1942 by a group of leading Reform rabbis including six former presidents of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the president of the Hebrew Union College, as well as laymen, who opposed the creation of a religiously segregated Jewish army to fight alongside the Allies and the new political direction of some in their movement, including, but not limited to, on the issue of Zionism as redefined by the Biltmore Program in May 1942.[13] The leading rabbis included Louis Wolsey, Morris Lazaron, Abraham Cronbach, David Philipson, and Henry Cohen but their most vocal representative for a time became Elmer Berger, who became the Council's Executive Director. Zionism is a movement founded by the Austro-Hungarian lawyer and author, Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), at the end of the 19th century to establish a Jewish state somewhere which would be a place of refuge for miserable victims of anti-Semitism that he witnessed in Europe.[14] In the view of Justice Louis Brandeis, from Louisville, Kentucky who was elected to lead the world Zionist movement during World War I, the highest Jewish values were essentially American and included democracy, social justice, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.[15] Brandeis' concept of Zionism as a refuge for the oppressed Jews from eastern Europe and a place for Jewish cultural development was shaped by his love of his American homeland; he had "a deep commitment to American ideals and culture."[16] He never advocated uprooting the American Jewish community and moving it to the Middle East. Later Zionists from eastern Europe, on the other hand, had such a terribly negative experience as Jews in their countries that they lacked any conception of how good life could be for Jews in a free, democratic, pluralistic nation like the United States. The Americanization of Zionism was not well received by some of the eastern Europeans and there was a shift after Brandeis toward eastern European thinking.[17] In addition, the weak economy in Palestine made Zionism ineffective in providing a practical solution for relocating the millions of Jews from Europe. The number of Jews who emigrated from the Soviet Union and Russia were less than the natural increase in the Jewish population during this period.[18] Zionism emerged in the pre-World War II years not as a unifying force, but rather as a divisive force in the Jewish community.[19] The rabbis of Reform Judaism had opposed Zionism prior to World War I, supporting freedom, democracy and equal rights for Jews in the countries where they lived.[20] America was the homeland for American Jews, as Canada was for the Canadian Jews, Great Britain for the British Jews, France for the French Jews, etc. The influential American Jewish Committee, America's oldest human rights organization, was also anti-Zionist until 1918 when it became non-Zionist until the 1967 Six Day War.[21] The Central Conference of American Rabbis of the Reform movement declared itself officially neutral on Zionism in 1937. During the 1930s the free nations of Europe had a number of opportunities to stop Hitler through the use of military force when he was highly vulnerable, but the pacifists, the isolationists and those relying on their neutrality or appeasement caused delay in action until it was too late to prevent World War II, the death of six million Jews, and the suffering and death of tens of millions of others.[22] In September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and within months, millions of Jews were under the control of the Nazis. In 1940 Hitler's forces swept over most of Europe and in June 1941 invaded the Soviet Union placing millions of other Jews at the mercy of Nazi Germany and its allies. Great Britain and the Soviet Union were then both fighting for their lives. In the United States, interventionists were struggling against fierce isolationist opposition to get aid to the beleaguered Allies and strengthen America's own defenses.[23] From that point on only the defeat of Nazi Germany could save most of the large number of the European Jews who were in Nazi control or in areas targeted by the Nazis. There were opportunities to save tens of thousands of Jews in places, perhaps over 60,000 Romanian Jews whom they forced out under horrendous conditions to die of starvation, disease, and exposure to harsh weather, but the opportunity to save the millions under Nazi control was gone.[24]

The 1942 split within the Reform movement was prompted by the passage of a resolution by some rabbis endorsing the raising of a "Jewish army" in Palestine to fight alongside the Allies of World War II. The American and British general staffs opposed the placing Jews in segregated armed forces.[25] Since long before the founding of the United States, Jewish American officers and men had fought alongside Protestants and Catholics in the army and navy as well as in local militias. The first Dutch Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam (later New York) in 1654[26] had volunteered for service with Christian colonists in the militia. In the United Kingdom, Jewish officers and men also served alongside Protestants and Catholics in the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, and the British army. The founders of the American Council for Judaism regarded the potential segregation of Jews to be a highly regressive and harmful measure.

The presidency of the ACJ was accepted by the well-known philanthropist Lessing J. Rosenwald, who took the lead in urging the creation of a unitary democratic state in the British Mandate of Palestine in American policy-making circles. The ACJ supported free immigration of Jews into what was then the British mandate called Palestine (which includes the present State of Israel) as well as religious freedom and equal rights for citizens there of all faiths. Early Zionists, including Christian Zionists, had talked about finding "a land without people for a people without a land" (i.e. the persecuted Jews mainly of eastern and central Europe). The American Council for Judaism recognized that the area being considered for an independent state in the British mandate of Palestine was not a land without people. It was populated by both Arabs and Jews and the ACJ, like the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, opposed dispossessing the Arabs who were then living in Palestine.[27] Though up against overwhelming support for the creation of a Jewish state in Congress, the Council had many friends who supported its position in the State Department such as Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles and Dean Acheson who served as Secretary of State under President Truman. In the final year before the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the Council became very close to San Francisco born rabbi Judah Magnes, humanitarian and founder of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the leading "Israeli" advocate for a binational state, who had returned to America for fear of his life in Palestine.

Though Louis Wolsey resigned from the Council after the founding of the State of Israel, the ACJ persevered, believing that its primary foe was the political influence of Zionism upon American Judaism. In addition to supporting a network of religious schools committed to Classical Reform Judaism, the Council agitated against the merging of Zionist fund-raising organizations with local Jewish community boards, and enjoyed friendly relations with the Eisenhower State Department under John Foster Dulles. The ACJ also vocally supported the efforts of William Fulbright to have the lobbyists for Israel in the United States legally registered as foreign agents. In 1948, the year Israel was founded, the AJC had 14,000 members.[28] This number increased, and in the 1950s the Council had a membership of up to 20,000.

Support for the American Council for Judaism came primarily from Jews of British, Dutch, French and German descent who were historically attached to Classical Reform Judaism, but also from many Jewish socialists who opposed Zionism, and many more of whom who were uncomfortable with the Jewish religion coalesced around William Zukerman and his Jewish Newsletter. Jewish intellectuals who at one time or another passed through the Council included David Riesman, Hans Kohn, Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Will Herberg, Morrie Ryskind, Frank Chodorov, and Murray Rothbard. Among the notable gentile friends of the Council were Dorothy Thompson, Norman Thomas, Freda Utley, Arnold J. Toynbee, and Dwight MacDonald. The ACJ was particularly influential in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta and Dallas.[29][30]

The Six Day War and working toward peace[edit]

The ACJ declined in political activity for a while following the Six Day War in 1967 (when the American Jewish community was swept up by overwhelming support for Israel) while the ACJ continued its support for progressive Judaism.[31] The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza strip, and east Jerusalem began in as a result of the Six Day War and was followed by Jewish settlement construction in those territories. If Israel were to annex the land it occupied in 1967, the higher birthrate among Palestinians and Palestinian Israelis could, within a few years, result in Jews being a minority within the country, forcing a troubling choice between keeping a Jewish majority in a democratic country without the annexed territory or having a Jewish minority attempting to control a non-democratic country with a non-Jewish majority.[32] The ACJ backs the bipartisan American efforts to broker a two state solution to the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.

Speaking for the Jews[edit]

From time to time, someone claims to speak for "the Jews."[33] People of the Jewish faith are a diverse group made up of citizens of many nations living on all inhabited continents around the world including people of a number of different streams or denominations of Judaism which differ widely from one another. There are leaders of various groups of Jews such as the President of the Union for Reform Judaism, the President or Executive Director of the Society for Classical Reform Judaism, the Chief Executive Officer or President of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, etc. which are selected by the groups. Unlike some religions with a hierarchical structure, like the Roman Catholic Church, there is no one head of the Jewish religion. There are also many Jewish service organizations like B'Nai Brith or the American Jewish Committee, each with its own leadership.

The American Council for Judaism has never claimed to speak for all Jews and disputes the claim of any other individual or group to speak for such a diverse religion. Israel identifies itself as a "Jewish state" even though more than twenty per cent of Israeli citizens are Muslim, Christian, members or other faiths or atheists, and many of those Israelis of Jewish descent are not a member of any synagogue or temple, do not consider themselves religious or espouse a belief in God.[34] The leaders of Israel are elected only by Israeli citizens. The millions of people of the Jewish faith around the world who are not Israeli citizens do not have a vote in the selection of the Israeli Prime Minister or President. The ACJ believes that Israeli leaders can speak for their own country, but do not represent and cannot speak for people other than their own citizens.

The continuing struggle for freedom of religion[edit]

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel promised that the nation “will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”[35] The ACJ is in complete agreement with these stated goals, but highly critical of the failure to achieve some of them. Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Karaite Jews have never been granted religious freedom and equality in Israel. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism stated: “The time is long overdue for equality to reign throughout the state of Israel because of our deep love and commitment the ideals of the Jewish State. We insist on equality, not just at the Western Wall, but in Rabbinical Courts, under the chupah [for weddings], at funerals, in conversions, in the founding and funding of congregations and in the compensation to our Rabbis.”[36] Israel remains "the only democracy in the world that legally discriminates against the streams of Judaism representing the majority of Jews in the world and the overwhelming number of Jews in the US."[37] “The right to marry is one of those universally cherished civil liberties,” Rabbi Uri Regev, CEO of Hiddush, an Israeli human rights organization, said. “It is the one area in which Israel excluded itself from the international covenant of civil and political rights. The law adversely impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who cannot marry at all because of religious coercion and of millions who cannot have a marriage ceremony which fits their lifestyle and beliefs.” An annual survey revealed that 60% of ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews oppose freedom of religion and conscience in Israel. At the same time The support for freedom of religion and conscience among the general Israeli Jewish public remains at its consistent rate of 84%.[38] More than two-thirds (67%) of Israeli Jews support joint efforts between Israel and world Jewry to advocate for freedom of marriage in Israel.[39] There is widespread disapproval among Jewish Israelis about the government policy on religion. 78% of Israeli Jews are dissatisfied with the Knesset's current activities regarding religion and state issues. 74% are dissatisfied with the Finance Minister Yair Lapid and his party, Yesh Atid's activities regarding religion and state issues. 71% of Israeli Jews are not pleased with the Chief Rabbinate, which is an Orthodox and Hasidic institution which wields power over and applies Orthodox law to all Israeli Jews even though it is contrary to their religious beliefs. 89% of secular Israelis, 80% of immigrants, and 61% of traditional Israelis are unhappy with the institution.[40] The American Council for Judaism agrees with Rabbi Jacobs and the Union for Reform Judaism that American Jews should no longer acquiesce to Israel’s state-sanctioned discrimination against women and non-Orthodox Jews.[41]

The Israel Religious Action Center of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism[42] led by its Executive Director, Anat Hoffman, who has been arrested for carrying a Torah and praying as a woman near the Western Wall, has been active in the struggle for religious freedom and women's rights in Israel and worked to end segregation of women on buses and in some other public places, in cooperation with the New Israel Fund,[43] both of which have worked to achieve liberty and equality, including through peaceful demonstrations, petitions and legal action in Israeli secular courts including the Supreme Court of Israel.

After seventy years[edit]

The American Council for Judaism has moderated its stance over time. Although it had originally championed a unitary pluralistic state with freedom and equal rights for all and free Jewish immigration, the ACJ has accepted Israel since its creation, but still advocates equal rights and religious freedom for all people living there.[44] The refusal of many Palestinians and of the Arab countries to accept the UN partition of the British mandate into two nations in 1948 led to a series of wars and hostility that have harmed the Israelis, the Arabs, and the Palestinians. The ACJ continues to back the use of Israel (along with the United States and other free countries) as a refuge for persecuted Jews, which is consistent with some version of Zionism[45] that does not contend that Jews outside of Israel are living "in exile" and advocate all the Jews of America and around the world moving to Israel. The ACJ points out that while Jews in America have been free to move to Israel since 1948, and although a tiny number have done so, it is less than the number of Israelis who have moved to America.[46] But the ACJ believes that God, not the State of Israel, is central to the Jewish faith and to the lives of American Jews. Many influential Jewish Israelis, including in government and NGOs, like former Israeli cabinet minister and Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Natan Shransky, recognize the importance to Israel of strong, secure communities of Jews in the diaspora and do not desire all Jews to move to Israel.[47] According to its statement of principles, "the State of Israel has significance for the Jewish experience. As a refuge for many Jews who have suffered persecution and oppression in other places, Israel certainly has meaning for us. However, that relationship is a spiritual, historical, and humanitarian one - it is not a political tie. As American Jews, we share the hope for the security and well being of the State of Israel, living in peace and justice with its neighbors".[48][49] Allan C. Brownfeld, the editor of the AJC's magazine, said that "I think we represent a silent majority. We are Americans by nationality and Jews by religion. And while we wish Israel well, we don’t view it as our homeland."[50]

The organization publishes a magazine called Issues, which is published in print and online.

References[edit]

  • Kolsky, Thomas Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948 Temple University Press, 1992.
  • Ross, Jack. Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger & American Jewishj Anti-Zionism
  1. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948 (Temple University Press 1990) p. 132
  2. ^ "The Reform Movement in North America is larger than the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements combined….With Sen. Lieberman’s retirement, every Jewish member of the Senate and House is a Reform or Conservative Jew…." URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaking at the Knesset, November 2013 "It’s Time for a New Israel-Diaspora Conversation," Reform Judaism Online http://rjmag.org/Articles/index.cfm?id=3342 accessed 2/25/15
  3. ^ These include The Union Prayer Book and the new edition of The New Union Haggadah. The Union Prayer Book: Sinai edition revised (Central Conference of American Rabbis 2012) and Berman, Howard and Zeidman, Benjamin, The New Union Haggadah: Revised Edition (Central Conference of American Rabbis 2014)
  4. ^ The Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)
  5. ^ Barry, John M., Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty (Penguin Group 2012) p 194; Martin Urofsky, Zionism: An American Experience, in Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 246
  6. ^ Barry, John M., Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty (Penguin Group 2012)
  7. ^ Barry, John M., Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and the Birth of Liberty (Penguin Group 2012) p.194
  8. ^ "all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities."
  9. ^ Gould, Alan, What Did They Think of the Jews (Jason Aranson pub. 1991) p. 69
  10. ^ "For happily the Government of the United States, which gives bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens." George Washington in his letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport in 1790, quoted in Gould, Alan, What Did They Think of the Jews (Jason Aranson pub. 1991) p.71; The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition, ed. Theodore J. Crackel. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, Rotunda, 2008 http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/founders/GEWN-05-06-02-0135 [accessed 04 Mar 2015]; see http://www.tourosynagogue.org/history-learning/gw-letter [accessed 04 Mar 2015]
  11. ^ Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 14
  12. ^ http://www.acjna.org
  13. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948 (Temple University Press 1990) p. 42-49
  14. ^ Martin Urofsky, Zionism: An American Experience, in Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 245; Vital, David, A People Apart: The Jews of Europe 1789-1939 (Oxford University Press ed. 1999) pp. 437-441 Herzl's experience involved the Jews of parts of Europe where there had been a long history of discrimination and oppression of Jews by the church and civil authorities, rather than the United States where the Jews had a remarkably better, if still not perfect, experience. Most of those who became Zionists during the early decades of the 20th century were from eastern and, to a lesser extent, central Europe where anti-Semitism was the worst and among those seeking to aid them. Those Zionist leaders from America, like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Stephen Wise were searching for a refuge for Jews in places like Russia, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany, not to disestablish the Jewish community in the U.S.A.
  15. ^ Martin Urofsky, Zionism: An American Experience, in Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 250
  16. ^ Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 251
  17. ^ Martin Urofsky, Zionism: An American Experience, in Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 254
  18. ^ Vital, David, A People Apart: The Jews of Europe 1789-1939 (Oxford University Press ed. 1999) p. 780 Emigration from Poland was a few thousand in the early 1920s, up to 18,000 in 1925 and way down by 1928 when the US had cut off immigration and the UK limited Palestine to 763 Polish Jews; in 1935 it hit 30,000 and fell again when there was great pressure from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Italy; 140,000 Jews left Poland for Palestine from 1919 to 1942 (only 4.5% of Polish Jews and a fraction of the natural increase). The number of Jews who emigrated to the United States after 1880 through the first quarter of the 20th century was over 2,600,000.
  19. ^ Vital, David, A People Apart: The Jews of Europe 1789-1939 (Oxford University Press ed. 1999) p. 847
  20. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948, (Temple University Press 1990) p. 30
  21. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948, (Temple University Press 1990) p. 30
  22. ^ May, Earnest R., Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France (Hill and Wang ed. 2000); Olson, Lynne, Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-41 (Random House ed. 2013)
  23. ^ Olson, Lynne, Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-41 (Random House ed. 2013)
  24. ^ Wallance, Gregory J., America's Soul in the Balance: The Holocaust, FDR's State Department, and The Moral Disgrace of An American Aristocracy (Greenleaf Book Group Press 2012)
  25. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948, (Temple University Press 1990) p. 43
  26. ^ Sarna, Jonathan D., The American Jewish Experience (Holmes and Meier Publishing, Inc. 2d ed. 1997) p. 3
  27. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948 (Temple University Press 1990) pp. 136-38
  28. ^ New York Times- obituary for Rabbi Elmer Berger "A Foe of Zionism as well as Israel"[1]
  29. ^ San Francisco Jewish Elite: America's Leading Anti-Zionists
  30. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948 (Temple University Press 1990) p. 82-84
  31. ^ Moderates within the Council forced Elmer Berger to resign the following year for declaring that Israel had been the primary aggressor in the war.
  32. ^ The history of the occupation and problems in Jewish society and culture in Israel and in the Diaspora, are covered in The Unmaking of Israel by Orthodox Israeli author Gershom Gorenberg (Harper Perennial 2012)
  33. ^ see e.g. Noah Millman, "Does Bibi Speak for Me?" in The American Conservative (Feb. 11, 2015) http://www.theamericanconservative.com/millman/does-bib-speak-for-me/ accessed March 2, 2015; Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, "Who Speaks for the Jews," in The Jewish Week http://www.thejewishweek.com/features/rabbis-world/who-speaks-jews%26favtitle=who%Speaks%for%the%20Jews%3F accessed March 2, 2015
  34. ^ This figure does not count the millions of Palestinian people, mostly Muslim or Christian, who live under various degrees of Israeli control in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War who are not citizens of Israel.
  35. ^ "Establishment of Israel: The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel," Jewish Virtual Library, https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Dec_of_Indep.html accessed 2/25/15
  36. ^ Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism at Biennial 2013 quoted on tumblr. https://www.tumblr.com/search/rabbi%20rick%20jacobs
  37. ^ Rabbi Jacobs quoted in Rabbi Stav Lashes Out at Reform Jews on ynet http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4452898,00.html 11/13/13. The International Religious Freedom Report for 2012, issued by the United States Department of State, found that despite the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel"governmental and legal discrimination against non-Jews and non-Orthodox streams of Judaism continued.”
  38. ^ Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel, Inc., 2014 Religion and State Index, https://www.dropbox.com/s/0fnpt26czd5ctbj/2014%20Religion%20and%20State%20Index%20first%20edition.pdf?dl=0 accessed 2/26/15
  39. ^ Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel, Inc., 2014 Religion and State Index, https://www.dropbox.com/s/0fnpt26czd5ctbj/2014%20Religion%20and%20State%20Index%20first%20edition.pdf?dl=0 accessed 2/26/15
  40. ^ Hiddush- Freedom of Religion for Israel, Inc., 2014 Religion and State Index, https://www.dropbox.com/s/0fnpt26czd5ctbj/2014%20Religion%20and%20State%20Index%20first%20edition.pdf?dl=0 accessed 2/26/15
  41. ^ "Reform leader Rick Jacobs slams Israeli discrimination against non-Orthodox," The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/reform-leader-rick-jacobs-slams-israeli-discrimination-against-non-orthodox/#ixzz3SxoLBOUE accessed 2/27/15
  42. ^ http://www.irac.org
  43. ^ http://www.nif.org
  44. ^ Kolsky, Thomas A., Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism 1942-1948 (Temple University Press 1990) p. 93
  45. ^ There are many versions of Zionism
  46. ^ The ACJ is guided by the Biblical passages like those of the prophet Isaiah who says that the Lord had chosen the Jews to be "a light unto the nations" as directing the Jews to live among the peoples of the world rather than isolating themselves in one place. Isaiah 49:6, 42:6, 60:3.
  47. ^ Marmur, Dow. "Vanishing Diaspora predictions premature". Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  48. ^ http://www.acjna.org/acjna/about_principles.aspx
  49. ^ http://www.acjna.org/acjna/articles_detail.aspx?id=599
  50. ^ On Religion - A Resurgence for American Jews Who Reject Zionism - The New York Times

External links and further reading[edit]