I can't remember many Jews around Ronald Reagan when I met him at the very start of his political career. Politics were simple. Jews were Democrats. Republicans were from country clubs that didn't admit Jews.
Reagan seemed unconnected to all that. His experience with Jews was far different than that of the country club Republicans who followed him. True, he grew up in small-town Illinois, where Jews were a rarity, and he graduated from Eureka College, a puritanical Disciples of Christ school. But his movie career was nurtured and shaped by Jews, who remained loyal to him through his days in films and politics and shaped his political life.