Marc Dollinger on Black Power, Jewish Politics | Osher Marin Jewish Community Center

Marc Dollinger on Black Power, Jewish Politics

Wed, October 24, 2018 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Marc Dolinger
Charles Del Vecchio/Washington Post/Getty Images

How American Jews leveraged the Black Power movement to strengthen religious, ethnic, and cultural life.


Marc Dollinger charts the transformation of American Jewish political culture from the Cold War liberal consensus of the early postwar years to the rise and influence of Black Power–inspired ethnic nationalism. He shows how, in a period best known for the rise of black antisemitism and the breakdown of the black-Jewish alliance, black nationalists enabled Jewish activists to devise a new Judeo-centered political agenda—including the emancipation of Soviet Jews, the rise of Jewish day schools, the revitalization of worship services with gender-inclusive liturgy, and the birth of a new form of American Zionism.

Undermining widely held beliefs about the black-Jewish alliance, Dollinger describes a new political consensus, based on identity politics, which drew blacks and Jews together and altered the course of American liberalism. 

“Dollinger’s illuminating book illustrates that many American Jewish leaders were not only sympathetic to Black Power but were supportive of it. Dollinger shows that the American Jewish turn toward issues of Jewish continuity owes a great debt to the Black Power movement and that Jewish leaders understood that early on. This book will significantly change how we view the American Jewish 1960s and their aftermath.” 

—Shaul Magid, Indiana University, Bloomington and Shalom Hartman Institute of North America  

“Dollinger’s book highlights Jewish leaders during the twentieth century who understood and applauded African American separatism and militancy, and then turns to the Jewish young people who embraced Black Power’s community-building possibilities. This book offers exciting new directions for American Jewish scholarship and helps reframe our understanding of Jewish engagement with African Americans, civil rights, and American Identity.”

—Cheryl Greenberg, Trinity College

RSVP Calendar

The Osher Marin JCC is pleased to host an evening in celebration of Marc Dollinger’s new book Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s. He will be joined in discussion by Ilana Kaufman, the Director of the Jews of Color Field Building Initiative.

An audience Q&A and book signing will follow the program. 


MARC DOLLINGER is the author of Quest for Inclusion: Jews and Liberalism in Modern America, and co-editor of California Jews and American Jewish History: A Primary Source Reader. He holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University. 

ILANA KAUFMAN formerly worked as the Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director, East Bay, for the San Francisco, CA-based Jewish Community Relations Council. She has twenty years of leadership, community building and organizational development experience. She has been featured in the Jewish Times of America and the J Weekly, and has published articles the Forward, eJewish Philanthropy, The Foundation Review and Independent School Magazine. A nationally regarded thought leader on the importance of grappling with race and racism in the Jewish community, Ilana was featured in the series “ELI Talks: Inspired Jewish Ideas” in 2015 and was recognized by both the Jewish Multiracial Network and the New York Public Library Blog Celebrating African American Jews for Black History Month in 2016.

Location: Kurland 
Cost: Free, RSVP Required