AJC Leader Says the Jewish Community is Marked by Diversity of Opinion and is Not Asingle-issue Comm
Menu JTA Search

AJC Leader Says the Jewish Community is Marked by Diversity of Opinion and is Not Asingle-issue Comm

Download PDF for this date

Howard Friedman ended his three years as president of the American Jewish Committee by praising the increasing growth of diversity of opinion on all issues in the American Jewish community.

There has been a “false perception” of the Jewish community as a single-issue community partly “bolstered by the tendency in our community to create structures that purport to speak with a single Jewish voice,” Friedman said at the AJCommittee’s 80th

“While our various umbrella organizations render many important services, the American Jewish Committee has always been uneasy about participation in such structures because we strongly believe there is not, and should not be, a single

“The need to avoid an artificial unanimity of Jewish opinion is more acute on issues of deep Jewish interest. Our efforts with regard to such issues are far more credible and effective when it is clear that we have come to our


Friedman noted that “while Jewish history and tradition do provide a unique perspective

He stressed that “the increasing number of thoughtful, committed Jews who identify themselves with the Republican Party matches the profound commitment of equally thoughtful, committed Jews


The AJCommittee received a message from Israeli President Chaim Herzog, who praised the

“A web of cooperation between us is being woven,” Herzog said. “I would plead, however, for more than cooperation, for understanding of the special nature of Israel, the destiny it bears, the inner meaning of its existence beyond all its tangled

Herzog stressed that Israel “is the core, the focus of the Jewish world and, without that focus, I would fear for the Jewish future.”


Theodore Ellenoff was elected president of the AJCommittee, succeeding Friedman. A

A leader of AJC for many years, Ellenoff is a vice president and member of the Board of Trustees of Central Synagogue in New York City and has engaged in a broad range of community activities. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of New York University, where

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund