Marc Dollinger on Black Power, Jewish Politics

Wednesday

Oct 24, 2018 – 7:00 PM

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How American Jews leveraged the Black Power movement to strengthen religious, ethnic, and cultural life.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Marc Dollinger charts the transformation of American Jewish political culture from the Cold War liberal consensus of the early postwar years to the rise and influence of Black Power–inspired ethnic nationalism. He shows how, in a period best known for the rise of black antisemitism and the breakdown of the black-Jewish alliance, black nationalists enabled Jewish activists to devise a new Judeo-centered political agenda—including the emancipation of Soviet Jews, the rise of Jewish day schools, the revitalization of worship services with gender-inclusive liturgy, and the birth of a new form of American Zionism.

Undermining widely held beliefs about the black-Jewish alliance, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, which drew blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism. 

“Dollinger’s illuminating book illustrates that many American Jewish leaders were not only sympathetic to Black Power but were supportive of it. Dollinger shows that the American Jewish turn toward issues of Jewish continuity owes a great debt to the Black Power movement and that Jewish leaders understood that early on. This book will significantly change how we view the American Jewish 1960s and their aftermath.” 

—Shaul Magid, Indiana University, Bloomington and Shalom Hartman Institute of North America  

“Dollinger’s book highlights Jewish leaders during the twentieth century who understood and applauded African American separatism and militancy, and then turns to the Jewish young people who embraced Black Power’s community-building possibilities. This book offers exciting new directions for American Jewish scholarship and helps reframe our understanding of Jewish engagement with African Americans, civil rights, and American Identity.”

—Cheryl Greenberg, Trinity College

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