/ Identity/Crisis Podcast

Identity/Crisis Podcast

The Jewish Establishment and Its Critics

"The Jewish establishment" evokes images of a small group of insiders with some combination of power, affluence, and influence.
Yehuda Kurtzer, Eric Fingerhut
Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute. Yehuda is a leading thinker and author on the meaning of Israel to American Jews, on Jewish history and Jewish memory, and on questions of leadership and change in American Jewish life. Yehuda led the creation of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America in 2010 as a pioneering research and educational center for the leadership of the North American Jewish community, and teaches in

Eric Fingerhut

“The Jewish establishment” evokes images of a small group of insiders with some combination of power, affluence, and influence. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but the power and purpose of that establishment has shifted significantly since its height in the middle of the 20th century, and it also exists in relationship to its critics. Eric Fingerhut has been a member of many “establishments;” he was a congressman for Ohio 19th district, CEO of Hillel International, and is now the CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). In a conversation with host Yehuda Kurtzer, he shares his perspective on the power and limits of representing North American Jewish communities, particularly during times of political crisis; the systems of democracy within his own organization; and where he sees hope for the Jewish future in both North America and Israel.

Yehuda Kurtzer’s article “The Establishment Has No Clothes”


A transcript of this episode is available here.

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In a frenzied media cycle, Identity/Crisis delves into the big ideas behind the news from a uniquely Jewish perspective. Host Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, talks with leading thinkers to unpack current events effecting Jewish communities in North America, Israel, and around the world, revealing the core Jewish values underlying the issues that matter to you.

You care about Israel, peoplehood, and vibrant, ethical Jewish communities. We do too.

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