, Volume 30, Issue 2-3, pp 141-143
Date: 01 Oct 2010

Editor’s Introduction to the Distancing Hypothesis Issue

This is an excerpt from the content

We are devoting this special issue of Contemporary Jewry to a debate and commentaries about what has come to be called the “Distancing Hypothesis,” the suggestion that American Jews increasingly are socially, culturally, ethnically, and emotionally distant from the State of Israel. This issue of the journal came out of a panel on the subject that was held at a session sponsored by the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, the parent body of this journal. (A brief account of this panel is part of the comments of Ronald Miller and Arnold Dashefsky in these pages.) So powerful was the debate and deeply felt were the arguments by both sides and from the assembled audience that, as editor and one of those in the room, I invited the lead researchers to present their arguments in these pages and submit them to the review and commentary of a wide array of scholars and thinkers, and finally to our many readers. What you have before you is the result of that effort.

The two lead p