Isn’t it interesting how Jewish groups with a lot to say about almost everything have been so conspicuously silent about the politically charged debate in Washington on regulatory reform intended to prevent a recurrence of the financial meltdown whose impact is still being felt – by many Jewish organizations, as well as countless individuals?
Okay, I get it; these groups depend for their existence to a considerable extent on givers who are involved in the banking and finance sectors. Bankers and financiers don’t like like regulation because it can keep them from maximizing profit – even when maximizing profit means jeopardizing the whole economy.
Still, with so many Jewish organizations supposedly concerned about poverty in America – and with the ranks of the poor much higher today because of the meltdown, and the impact so much greater on those without the padding of big bank accounts – I wonder how this silence plays out on Capitol Hill, where advocates of serious reform need all the help they can get.
And I wonder how that silence will be seen by younger Jews – who, surveys tell us, retain a strong, Jewishly influenced focus on social justice.
Jewish leaders complain that younger Jews don’t see their organizations as relevant. Well, isn’t this one example of why?
In the meantime, it will be fascinating to watch how the “tea party” movement, if you can call such a disparate group of angry activists a movement, will respond as the debate goes on.
Tea partiers hate bankers and financiers and they hate Wall Street, but they also hate the government – which means they hate regulation of the very sectors they hate and see as rapicious.
Sorta makes you feel like your head is going to explode.