Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1934-) Senator N. M. Patterson Professor, Bar Ilan University (Israel), and Director, Center for the Study of Federalism, Temple University.

Born in Minneapolis, Elazar received his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. Recognized as an expert on Jewish community organization worldwide and Jewish political thought, he is an authority on Israel and world Jewry and founding President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a major independent Jewish "think tank" concerned with analyzing and solving key problems facing Israel and world Jewry. He is the author of more than 60 books, including Community and Polity (Jewish Publication Society 1995 [1976]), a classic in-depth study of the American Jewish community, and many other publications. Moreover, he is author or editor of several books exploring practical solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on federal principles found in the Jewish political tradition; these works include Two Peoples-One Land: Federal Solutions for Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan (University Press of America 1991) and Israel: Building a New Society (Indiana University Press 1986).

As editor of the Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints series, he has analyzed such topics as Sephardic Jewry and religious politics in Israel. Among his other books are Covenant and Commonwealth (Transaction 1996) and Covenant and Polity in Biblical Israel (Transaction 1994). In addition, he has published widely on federalism, for example, American Partnership (University of Chicago Press 1962), American Federalism: A View from the States (Crowell 1972), Cities of the Prairie (Basic Books 1970), Exploring Federalism (University of Alabama Press 1987), Federal Systems of the World (Longman 1994), and The American Mosaic (Westview 1994). Elazar has been awarded many honorary degrees, including those from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and Gratz College as well as the Sklare Memorial Award from the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry.

Arnold M. Dashefsky

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