Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As Americans and Jews, and particularly, as American Jews, we’re living in an unprecedented cultural and political moment. Myriad disputes rage on the policy front, but deepening cracks in our democratic norms and institutions transcend these debates and represent a genuinely existential threat to America.
As Americans, we should be gravely concerned about these phenomena.
As American Jews, we have even more at stake. Our vibrant American Judaism is a unique historical phenomenon—distinct from 15th Century Spanish Judaism or 18th Century Polish Judaism or 21st Century Israeli Judaism—that represents a hybrid of Jewish tradition and culture and the tradition and culture of American democracy. We may speak English, as opposed to Ladino or Yiddish or another amalgam, but our identity as American Jews is no less an intermingling of America and Judaism. As Louis Brandeis wrote...
The 2017 Jewish Futures Conference
For Which it Stands: How can Jewish civics education elevate American democracy?
The Moral, The Political, and The Partisan with Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer
Personally Delivered: Making Everyone Count in an Election with Sam Novey
Conceived in Liberty with Dr. Tamara Tweel
MEET OUR GRANTEES
Sefaria for Democracy is a proof of concept for bringing Sefaria’s approach to interlinking Jewish texts to the great texts of American democracy. It presents the texts of our democratic tradition in dialogue with each other, highlighting how our explorations of freedom and liberty are part of a great, intergenerational conversation going back centuries.
JSPA is a national journalism education organization that offers resources for schools to teach students top-level skills while looking at journalism through a Jewish lens. Working with students, teachers and advisers, its goals are to support the growth of student media at Jewish high schools, enhance journalism education in those schools, teach students and advisers how they can add Jewish content and sensibility to their publications, and convey a Jewish outlook on journalism to students in any school.
Informed by scholarly inquiries into both Jewish history and the Jewish present, the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies integrates Jewish wisdom with a broader academic study of philanthropy and democracy.
The Faith, Polarization, and Democracy Project weaves together strategies used by the One America Movement and the Rebuilding Democracy Project to develop a scalable model for lay, professional, and clergy leaders to shape norms inside their congregations in support of pro-democratic, anti-divisiveness practices.
PACE’s Faith In/And Democracy pooled fund and learning initiative explores the ways faith and faith communities can support democracy and civic life. The initiative provides grants to community-based projects working at the intersection of faith and civic life. The funding is complemented with a cohort-based, year-long peer learning community.
Mitzvote is a voter engagement drive that adapts the framework of Jews reaching the age of b’nai mitzvah, when Jews traditionally mark and celebrate the assumption of communal responsibilities, to Americans turning 18, the age at which young people gain the right to vote.
Civic Spirit educates, inspires, and empowers schools across faith traditions to enhance civic belonging and responsibility in their student, faculty, and parent communities.
Mahloket Matters is a six-part educational series designed to empower Jewish communities to use Jewish values, text, and conflict resolution skills to constructively engage in difficult ideological and political conversations.
Drawing on its experience facilitating conversations around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Resetting the Table has responded to America’s growing political divide by holding a series of communal conversations in rural Iowa and Wisconsin between people across the political spectrum.
The Jewish Values and American Democracy Project convenes thought leaders to explore the relationship between diverse narratives of Jewishness and of Americanness for the purpose of better, more informed leadership of American Jewry in a time of deep polarization.
PLAY THE GAME
A More Perfect Union Card Game
Have fun exploring the connections between Judaism and American democracy.
Print the cards, cut them out, and follow the instructions.
Out of the Box
Order a complete set of the game for $10.
We’re in an ongoing process of learning about these issues.
Please share your email address below if you’d like us to keep you in the loop about what we’re learning and other opportunities for you to learn more.