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UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN JUDAISM: REVISITING THE CONCEPT OF "SOCIAL JUSTICE"

Jerome S. Legge Jr.
Contemporary Jewry
Vol. 16, No. 1 (January 1995), pp. 97-109
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23450187
Page Count: 13
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UNDERSTANDING AMERICAN JUDAISM: REVISITING THE CONCEPT OF "SOCIAL JUSTICE"
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Abstract

This paper uses the 1991 Survey of New York Area Jews to re-explore the "social justice" concept developed by Sklare and Greenblum. It is supportive of Sklare and Greenblum who noted the tendency of Jews to have a broad concern for humankind and secular causes but to focus their behavior concerning social justice primarily on Jews. Bivariate analysis indicates that the Orthodox identify most strongly with the concept, although their view of social justice is "inward" and directed primarily at fellow Jews. This finding is confirmed in a multiple regression analysis. The level of charitable contributions is used as a surrogate for social justice. In contrast, denomination is of no explanatory value in explaining philanthropic contributions to secular charities. Rather, the dependent variable is predicted most strongly by income.

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