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Jewish Journal

Jewish Whiteness Doesn’t Get You Elected

by Pini Herman

November 7, 2012 | 12:04 am

A Latino forum might have been safer

American Jews have maintained a complex relationship to whiteness. The 2012 exit polling preliminary results shows that 70 percent of Jews voted for President Obama, equaling the voting profile of Latinos and other minorities.

The Republican Jewish Coalition may be stunned again, peering out of the echo chamber of some Jewish wealth magnets, Jewish Orthodox, immigrant communities of Israeli, Russian and Iranians who identify with the American whiteness and privilege projected by the Republican party. These small American Jewish groups echoed repeated polling findings in Israel that reflected an affinity of Israelis for Republicans and perhaps the embattled American whiteness that they represent which may resonate well with Jewish Israelis who feel embattled themselves.

Locally, we have lost major congressional influence and power based on a simple campaign miscalculation of ignoring the votes of fellow minorities. Unfortunately, Howard Berman, who embraced Latinos throughout his legislative career somehow forgot them in his re-election effort and never wavered from catering to numerically miniscule constituencies who don’t share his core convictions. He ignored his natural Latino constituency, who would have embraced him just for his record if he had been a little more vigorous in sharing it with them. I mourn Berman’s loss.

Pini Herman, PhD. has served as Asst. Research Professor at the University of Southern California Dept. of Geography,  Adjunct Lecturer at the USC School of Social Work,  Research Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following Bruce Phillips, PhD. in that position (and author of the “most recent” 15 year old study of the LA Jewish population which was the third most downloaded study from Berman Jewish Policy Archives in 2011) and is a past President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area. Currently he is a principal of Phillips and Herman Demographic Research. To email Pini: pini00003@gmail.com To follow Pini on Twitter:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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