Most American Jews have never been to Israel, do not consider themselves to be Zionists, and do not follow news from the Middle East very closely. The Middle East peace conference could change that.
Several Jewish leaders say that depending on how the talks go, American Jewish opinion could break with Israel's hard-line government, or turn angrily on the Bush administration.
"I believe this peace conference will be a profound event in the life of American Jewry," said Albert Vorspan of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the umbrella group of Reform Judaism.
Several leaders of mainstream Jewish organizations predict continued support for Israel. David Harris, of the American Jewish Committee, said, "American Jews will probably support whatever satisfies a majority of Israelis."