Mission Statement

The Center for Jewish Community Studies (CJCS) is a U.S. non-profit organization founded in 1973 in Philadelphia by the late Prof. Daniel J. Elazar (1973-1999). Prof. Elazar initiated the Study of Jewish Community Organization in 1968, the first world-wide study undertaken of every organized Jewish community. The Study led to the establishment of the Center for Jewish Community Studies.

Since that time, CJCS has been conducting research and educational projects worldwide on the Jewish community including within Israel. The Center’s mission is to initiate and conduct research, publications and the production of educational materials and position papers on questions pertaining to public policy, strategy, diplomacy, administration, economics and society, Jewish political tradition and peoplehood, and to disseminate the results of its activity.

Within the framework of its mission, CJCS has supported the activities of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in these areas.

Major Programs

Key People

The Center for Jewish Community Studies is governed by a distinguished Board of Fellows. The Director-General of the Center is Chaya Herskovic.

CJCS Board of Directors

Prof. Arthur I. Eidelman, Chairman, Israel
Prof. Rela Geffen, Assoc. Secretary & Treasurer, USA
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Israel
Prof. Mervin Verbit, USA
Prof. Harold Waller, Canada

Professor Daniel J. Elazar, z”l – Founder of the Center for Jewish Community Studies
Professor Daniel J. Elazar (1934-1999) was a leading political scientist and specialist in the study of the Jewish political tradition, Israel, the world Jewish community, federalism, and political culture. He was Professor of Political Science at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he founded the Center for the Study of Federalism, and held the Senator N.M. Paterson Professorship in Intergovernmental Relations at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, heading its Institute for Local Government. Professor Elazar was the author or editor of more than 60 books, and founded and edited the scholarly journal Jewish Political Studies Review.

Prof. Arthur I. Eidelman, Vice Chairman
Arthur I Eidelman served as Director of Newborn Services and Assistant Director of Pediatrics at the Einstein College of Medicine in New York. In 1978 he established the first Department of Neonatology in Israel, and subsequently became Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, and Professor of Pediatrics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University School of Medicine, and Research Scientist at Yale University Child Study Center. Dr Eidelman has authored over 200 peer reviewed articles, monographs, and textbooks in the field of Pediatrics and Neonatology.

Prof. Rela Geffen, Assoc. Secretary & Treasurer
Professor Rela Mintz Geffen was the President of Baltimore Hebrew University and is currently Professor Emerita of Sociology. She was former Dean of Gratz College. A founding Fellow of the Center for Jewish Community Studies, the forerunner of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, her books include The Conservative Movement in Judaism: Dilemmas & Opportunities (2000); Freedom and Responsibility: Exploring the Challenges of Jewish Continuity (1998); and Celebration and Renewal: Rites of Passage in Judaism (1993).

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld was an international business and environmental strategist. Dr. Gerstenfeld is the author of many books including Revaluing Italy; Environment and Confusion; Israel's New Future Interviews; The State as Business: Do It Yourself Political Forecasting; Judaism, Environmentalism and the Environment; and The Environment in the Jewish Tradition-A Sustainable World. His latest book,Europe's Crumbling Myths exposes the origins of post-Holocaust anti-Semitism.

Prof. Mervin Verbit
Mervin F. Verbit is an American sociologist whose work focuses on sociology of religion, American Jews and the American Jewish Community. He is currently the chair of the Sociology Department at Touro College. Dr. Verbit was a full-time time Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and has been visiting professor at several institutions, among them Bar Ilan University, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Yeshiva University, and Jewish Theological Seminary. He served as the first president of the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry (ASSJ),

Prof. Harold Waller
Harold Waller is a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal who specializes in Jewish political studies and Israeli politics. He co-authored Maintaining Consensus: The Canadian Jewish Polity in the Post War World with Prof. Daniel Elazar, which won the National Jewish Book Award (1991).

CJCS Fellows 

Yaacov Amidror, Ra’anana
Yehuda Avner, Jerusalem
Alan Baker, Jerusalem
Eytan Bentsur, Jerusalem
Michael Brown, Toronto
Steven M. Cohen, Jerusalem
Irwin Cotler, Montreal, Canada
Uzi Dayan, Kochav Yair
Daniel Diker, Jerusalem
Arthur I. Eidelman, M.D. Jerusalem***
Joel Fishman, Jerusalem
Freddy Eytan, Jerusalem
Rela Geffen, Philadelphia***
Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem ***
Allen (Avi) Glicksman, Philadelphia
Dore Gold, Jerusalem
Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, Ontario, Canada
Areyh Hecht, Jerusalem
Raphael Israeli, Jerusalem
Chaim Kalchheim, Jerusalem
Irit Kohn, Tel Aviv
Eugene Kontorovich, Neve Daniel
Jacob Landau, Jerusalem
Ruth Lapidoth, Jerusalem
Robert Licht, Philadelphia
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Atlanta
Zvi R. Marom, Ramat Hasharon
Irwin Mansdorf, Jerusalem
Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem
Reuven Merhav, Jerusalem
Alan Mittleman, Allentown
Jacques Neriah, Tel Aviv
Fiamma Nirenstein, Jerusalem
Daniel Reisner, Tel Aviv
Colin Rubenstein, Melbourne
Shmuel Sandler, Jerusalem
Jonathan Sarna, Newton, MA
Michael Segall, Tel Aviv
Shimon Shapira, Tel Aviv
Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem
Steven Spiegel, Los Angeles
Gerald Steinberg, Jerusalem
Joshua Teitelbaum, Tel Aviv
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, New York
Shmuel Trigano, Paris
Ilan Troen, Beersheva
Mervin F. Verbit, New York***
Leslie Wagner, Jerusalem
Harold M. Waller, Montreal, Canada ***
Justus Weiner, Jerusalem
Howard Weisband, Jerusalem
Steven Windmueller, Los Angeles

***Member of CJCS Board of Directors

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Contributor Information

The Center for Jewish Community Studies, (CJCS) is a U.S. nonprofit corporation and has received a federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It's Federal Tax ID Number is 23-2009062.

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