Orthodox and Other Jews in American Politics: A Growing Divergence (Remote)

Joshua Shanes
Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, and Director of the Arnold Center for Israel Studies, College of Charleston
Monday April 19
7 p.m. ET

Decades ago, Milton Himmelfarb quipped that American Jews tends to “earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans”; that is, they remain liberal despite achieving economic success. While that has broadly continued in the age of Trump, a new trend has grown clear. Orthodox Jews today swing sharply right, even when they earn poorly, while non-Orthodox Jews have grown even more committed to liberal values. This lecture explains this emerging divergence in the context of broader American trends – what I call an “evangelicalization of Orthodoxy” – as well as the role of Jewish politics as a debate about the meaning of Jewishness itself.

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