/25 Kislev 5772
The American Jewish Committee sponsored a consultation last week on the subject, “Are Young Committed American Jews Distancing from Israel?” I was asked to present my view of the matter—and to address the question of what needs to be done.
Yom Ha’atzma’ut (State of Israel Independence Day) Celebration at JTS
I don’t have any doubt that our community has a problem when it comes to engagement with Israel. It has long kept me up nights and now occupies a large number of my waking hours. Like many of us who are active in Jewish life in North America, I love Israel deeply. The very meaning of my life is bound up in Israel’s existence and achievements. I believe the very survival of our community depends on these as well. It pains me to see connections between Israel and North American Jewry—the world’s two largest and most important Jewish populations—attenuating. American Jews can’t do a whole lot to bring peace to the Middle East but we can bring our community closer to Israel. It seems urgent to me that we do so.
Any measures aimed at solving the problem should recognize that it is not limited to young Jews and it is not new. Read the rest of this entry »