Which side are you on: Jewish American or American Jew?

 

March 31, 2023



(JTA) — Earlier this month the New York Times convened what it called a “focus group of Jewish Americans.” I was struck briefly by that phrase — Jewish Americans — in part because the Times, like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, tends to prefer “American Jews.”

It’s seemingly a distinction without a difference, although I know others might disagree. There is an argument that “American Jew” smacks of disloyalty, describing a Jew who happens to be American. “Jewish American,” according to this thinking, flips the script: an American who happens to be Jewish. 

If presse...



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