The Mobilization of Elite Opinion: Rabbi Perceptions of and Responses to Anti-Semitism

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One of the persistent problems facing the Jewish community is anti-Semitism, which has a long, tragic history in the United States and abroad. At the same time, anti-Semitic acts are probably at their lowest ebb in American history. Using a sample of more than 400 rabbis drawn from the four great movements of American Judaism, we investigate rabbi perceptions of anti-Semitism in the United States, as well as their attitudinal and behavioral reactions to it. We test and find evidence for the notions that Orthodox rabbis, as well as those connected to and mobilized by Jewish advocacy organizations, perceive anti-Semitism as a greater problem and concern themselves with the issue more often in their public speech.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Denison University, USA 2: The Ohio State University, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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