A Different Kind of “From the Academy”

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Recently a group of more than 250 Jewish studies scholars endorsed Barack Obama. At first I was a little confused as to what they add to the mix. Why should Jewish voters listen to them in particular?

Their reason is somewhat compelling: “As scholars of Jewish Studies, we are concerned that distortions of Senator Obama’s record and biography have caused undue anxiety among American Jews about what an Obama presidency would mean for Israel and the Jewish community here.” (MORE)

The list itself is pretty impressive, I think. My perspective is rather skewed. I did quite a bit of my graduate work in Judaic Studies and a great majority of the list are important names to me. But my guess is that the greater Jewish American public may have heard of a few of them including Steven M. Cohen, demographer extraordinary, and Susanna Heschel, daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel.

It’s refreshing to know that there are liberal-minded thinkers in academia.

Posted on October 27, 2008

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