[Dr. Windmueller analyzes the new trends and issues facing the Jewish world today. This is an important article that I urge every concerned Jew to read his entire blog at The Times of Israel – https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-conversations-we-jews-will-need-to-have/]

“We are in a new time! The Jewish world will require a reset button that allows us to enter a new phase of dialogue and engagement

The beliefs that many of us had constructed about our community, this nation and ourselves appear to be coming undone! For the baby-boomer generation, these defining assumptions appear to be no longer valid:

  • For many of us the prophetic tradition provided us with the framework and inspiration for promoting a more progressive society.
  • We envisioned our Judaism and our Americanism in consort with one another. 
  •  We believed that each generation saw itself building upon the next.
  • Finally, we held to the belief that anti-Semitism, especially in the United States, was relegated to another era.

Today, the question may be whether any of these four propositions are valid. Within my generational cohort, the principles themselves may not necessarily be shared.  For younger American Jews other parallel ideas most likely have defined their generational beliefs…

Change is upon us. The test will be whether we as a people are prepared to initiate these necessary conversations around renewing our contract with America and re-envisioning the Jewish future.  The former ought to be seen as essential to the welfare of this democracy. Without the latter, events and issues may well overwhelm us, making our communal voice irrelevant and leaving our institutions out of touch with the emerging demographic realities and cultural shifts that will dominate this century.

Absent a serious remapping of the Jewish communal agenda and a collective refocusing on the structural and organizational framework that will be required to sustain and serve 21st American Jews, we will likely not be prepared to deal with either the external challenges or internal demands that are emerging before us.”

Steven Windmueller, Ph.D. is the Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service at the Jack H. Skirball Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to HUC, Dr.Windmueller served for ten years as the JCRC Director of the LA Jewish Federation. Between 1973-1985, he was the director of the Greater Albany Jewish Federation (now the Federation of Northeastern New York). He began his career on the staff of the American Jewish Committtee. The author of four books and numerous articles, Steven Windmueller focuses his research and writings on Jewish political behavior, communal trends, and contemporary anti-Semitism.