Since our country was established, immigrants from all over the world have come to America seeking a better life. As they progressively become more acquainted with the American life style they tend to become more involved in the daily interest of their new country. Specifically, Jews have been in the United States for centuries, but for a long time anti-Semitism and discrimination have made it very difficult for them to participate in politics. Jews have become a more active part of American politics due to Senator Lieberman’s candidacy for Vice President. However, Jew’s role in American politics has progressed over the years.
In the early years of our nations history Jews were not as actively involved in political positions. Senator Lieberman suggested that one reason, why Jews did not enter active politics during the start of the twentieth century was because of anti-Semitism. Over the course of the second half of the past century, particularly following World War II, Jews were among the strongest voices in the civil rights movement. Jews became financial power houses and supported the candidates of their choice with money. The events of the last century: the Vietnam War, women’s movement, and environmental programs inspired many American Jews to enter politics, for the very purpose of improving the world. As Senator Lieberman says in his introduction to Jews in American Politics, it is the practice of Jews to want to make the world a better place to “repair the world” in Hebrew, “Tikkun Olam” (Maisel and Forman XXII)
In the history of the United States before the New Deal was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the “the Jewish community was politically weak and its role in American society precarious. During the Roosevelt era, however, the government’s needs and the capacity of Jews to serve them launched Jews on the path to political influence and social acceptance” (Maisel and Forman 10). During the term of Roosevelt in 1933 many people were opposed to the “nation’s protestant elite” (Maisel and Forman 10). Consequently, Jews began to become more prevalent in the workforce. They became attorneys, economists, and some even became leadership and expertise for Roosevelt’s administration. The New Deal that FDR established became a prominent source of employment for the Jews. “Thus, the New Deal provided Jews with opportunities and advantages and, by the end of Roosevelt’s first term in office, most Jews had given the president and his party their allegiance” (Maisel and Forman 10). Roosevelt’s commitment to the Jews helped to establish the connection they have to the Democratic Party. Although Jews at this time, during the New Deal era were becoming increasingly involved, they did not fully immerse themselves until the 1960s and 1970s, when they joined political movements.
Jews in Congress have always maintained their American identity while still supporting their religious origin. Similarly, Jewish American...