the american jewish community: arena for conflict
The struggle of the Zionist movement for power and influence in the United States cannot be described without a substantial understanding of the American Jewish community -- the specific political arena in which Zionism contended with various opponents for the advancement of its objectives. Only against a backdrop of conflicting Jewish claims -- deriving from differences in national origin, religious outlook, socio-economic status, ideological persuasion, and organizational attachment -- can the shifting fortunes of the Zionist movement be adequately portrayed and analyzed.
Unfortunately, however, the raw materials for a political understanding of American Jewry are not readily available. No truly comprehensive study of the Jewish community has yet been undertaken 1 and, therefore, a representative picture must be pieced together from numerous, but incomplete, investigations.
A conception of American Jewry which would be acceptable to every interested party has never been evolved and, given the heterogeneous nature of the group concerned, probably cannot be attained in the foreseeable future. One may safely contend that the Jews constitute the largest non-Christian group in the United States, but any attempt to categorize Jews solely as one of the three major American religions will ignore the large number of secu-