By Seth Forman

Since the Sixties the connection among Blacks and Jews has been a contentious one. whereas others have tried to provide an explanation for or fix the break-up of the Jewish alliance on civil rights, Seth Forman the following units out to figure out what Jewish pondering with reference to Black americans unearths approximately Jewish identification within the united states Why did American Jews become involved in Black reasons within the first position? What did they need to achieve from it? And what does that let us know approximately American Jews?

In a really provocative research, Forman argues that the dedication of yankee Jews to liberalism, and their historical definition of themselves as sufferers, has prompted them to act in ways in which have been outlined nearly as good for Blacks, yet which in essence have been opposite to Jewish pursuits. they've got no longer been in a position to dissociate their needs--religious, non secular, communal, political--from these of African american citizens, and feature accordingly acted in methods that have threatened their very own cultural vitality.

Avoiding the focal point on Black victimization and white racism that regularly infuses paintings on Blacks and Jews, Forman emphasizes the complexities inherent in a single specific white ethnic group's involvement in America's racial dilemma.

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5 6 Nevertheless, th e respons e o f Souther n Jew s wa s considere d entirel y inadequate b y man y libera l Jew s i n th e Nort h an d b y th e nationa l Jewis h organizations, fo r w h o m th e figh t fo r racia l integratio n ha d becom e a par ticularly Jewis h concern . Fo r man y Norther n Jew s an d fo r th e nationa l Jewish organizations , th e situatio n o f th e Jew s i n th e Sout h a s a relativel y privileged peopl e challenge d thei r fundamenta l belief s abou t wha t i t mean t to b e a Jew an d abou t th e sacre d connectio n betwee n rac e prejudic e an d anti-Semitism.

Tha t i s wha t make s s o painfu l hi s curren t dilemma involvin g th e Negr o problem . H e ha s somethin g preciou s t o lose—his acceptanc e a s 'on e o f us. ' " 4 3 For som e Jews i n th e South , th e situatio n wa s mor e complicate d becaus e of th e willingnes s o f th e Jewis h merchant , beginnin g afte r th e Civi l War , to cate r t o Blac k client s a s wel l a s white . T h e "succes s o f th e Jewish mer chants i s believe d t o b e du e t o winnin g th e negr o trade, " wrot e Joh n Dollard i n hi s stud y Caste and Class in a Southern Town.

51 I n a survey administere d betwee n 195 9 and 1962 , Alfred Her o foun d tha t Souther n Jews wer e "distinctl y les s in clined tha n whit e Souther n gentile s t o expres s segregationist , an d particu larly racist , ideology. " 52 In anothe r stud y o f a Southern Jewish community , th e political scientis t Theodore Low i found tha t Jews who ha d lived in th e Sout h longer tende d to b e mor e conservativ e politicall y tha n Jews wh o ha d recentl y move d t o the Sout h bu t tha t "th e ol d Jews wil l mak e th e inevitabl e adjustmen t t o integration mor e easil y and mor e quickl y tha n thei r white Christia n breth ren.

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