Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Lerner on Jewish Life

October 18, 1992

Lerner's blueprint for change needs to be answered. I would argue that established Jewish institutions have already begun to accommodate many of his positive aspirations, but my focus here is on other priorities not included in his vision of a Jewish "brave new world."

Lerner champions women and gays who want full membership in American Jewish life, but he's not so concerned with Jews born abroad. As many as 200,000 newcomers from every point on the compass already make Los Angeles Jewry a global "immigrant village." Many are in dire economic straits. Resettlement and absorption efforts have to be accelerated to counter the tendency to treat them as if they were native-born and charter members of affluent white America.

Lerner is rightly concerned with the plight of the poor and homeless. But their fate--and that of the rest of us--will hinge on meeting the broader challenge of making this diverse society work. Innovative Jewish outreach must target the blacks, Latinos and Asians, who typically have homes and jobs or businesses and demand livable neighborhoods and community empowerment. The Jewish community relations professionals he disdains are the only people to offer new thinking that may benefit non-Jewish minorities who make up almost two-thirds of L.A.'s population.

HAROLD BRACKMAN, Consultant on Intergroup Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|