Last November, California voters easily passed Proposition 71, which provides $3 billion in state grants for embryonic stem cell research. Jews supported Proposition 71 in much higher numbers than most voters.
Two of the initiative's primary backers, Robert Klein and film producer Jerry Zucker ("Airplane," "Ghost" and "First Knight"), are Jewish. Klein has become head of the committee overseeing the new California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which will award Proposition 71 funds. Zucker has more or less returned to the sidelines. He talked to The Journal about his role in Proposition 71 and the politics and science of stem cells.