Op-Ed by Professor Dollinger: American Jewish Values on the Line in Divided Nation

Thursday, January 21, 2021

J. (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University and is the author, most recently, of “Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s.” He wrote this op-ed for the J., a Jewish community newspaper.

“While Trump-supporting Jews saw his uber-nationalist politics as the best path forward, anti-Trump Jews hold fast to a version of Judaism and Americanism that welcomes diverse peoples, seeks justice and wants politicians and government to bring people together,” Dollinger wrote. “They seek to translate the prophetic voice of Jewish text to the lived experiences of all of this nation’s inhabitants.

“Just as 20th-century American Jews supported the Civil Rights movement, 21st-century American Jews want a turn away from the divisive rhetoric of the last four years. Trump, and especially the Jews who support him, represent an affront to Jewish values and any hope for re-creating America as an exceptional place.

“That’s the paradox of the exceptionalist thesis. It plays both ways. Most Jews see Trump as having ruined what makes America great, while a distinct minority buy into the MAGA sloganeering.”