The Latest Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

By Peter Beinhart

What imprint will the fight over the Iran deal leave on organized American Jewish life? Much is still not clear. But this much is: If you thought young American Jews were alienated from their communal elders before, just wait.

Older American Jews are closely split on the Iran nuclear agreement. Younger American Jews are not; they support it overwhelmingly. According to a late July poll by the Jewish Journal (the only one I’ve seen that breaks down Jewish opinion by age), American Jews under 40 back the deal by 34 percentage points, almost twice the margin among American Jews as a whole.

But what’s most important isn’t merely the fact that younger American Jews back a deal that the most powerful American Jewish organizations oppose. It’s the reason why. The American Jewish establishment’s response to the Iran deal is a case study in the attitudes and behaviors that have been alienating young American Jews for years.

What imprint will the fight over the Iran deal leave on organized American Jewish life? Much is still not clear. But this much is: If you thought young American Jews were alienated from their communal elders before, just wait.

Older American Jews are closely split on the Iran nuclear agreement. Younger American Jews are not; they support it overwhelmingly. According to a late July poll by the Jewish Journal (the only one I’ve seen that breaks down Jewish opinion by age), American Jews under 40 back the deal by 34 percentage points, almost twice the margin among American Jews as a whole.

But what’s most important isn’t merely the fact that younger American Jews back a deal that the most powerful American Jewish organizations oppose. It’s the reason why. The American Jewish establishment’s response to the Iran deal is a case study in the attitudes and behaviors that have been alienating young American Jews for years.

– Read more: The Latest Failure of the American Jewish Establishment – Peter Beinhart, Haaretz

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