By Josh Nathan-Kazis | 31 December 2018
THE JEWISH FORWARD — In June of 2015, one of the leading intellectuals of the Jewish establishment stood on stage in front of hundreds of American Jewish leaders and called for the community to picket outside the home of a college junior.
It was the keynote speech at the American Jewish Committee’s annual conference in a year when the American Jewish establishment was in the midst of what felt like a nervous breakdown.
The United States was on the brink of signing a nuclear deal with Iran, despite the universal opposition of the Jewish establishment. The Israeli prime minister had traveled to Washington, D.C. to attack the U.S. president from the floor of the House of Representatives. And on the sidelines, restive mega-donors were maneuvering for control over the institutions of the establishment itself.
In the midst of all of this, the American-born Israeli rabbi Daniel Gordis mounted the podium at the AJC conference, his conservative grey suit and tie and small dark kippah the very uniform of the moderate establishment. […]