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INFOGRAPHIC: Will Your Grandchildren Be Jewish?
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INFOGRAPHIC: Will Your Grandchildren Be Jewish?

Are American Jews facing an existential threat?

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Will Your Grandchildren Be Jewish?

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Visitor Comments: 14

(9) Dvirah, June 22, 2017 7:29 PM

How You Look At It

When I look at these figures, I see Secularism dying out and Torah Judaism being strengthened. That looks like good news to me.

(8) Canuck, June 15, 2017 6:49 PM

This is my perception of the situation up in Canada...

However, as I have no significant US contacts, I don't know if the same problems are true south of the border. Perhaps some other commentators could enlighten me? Anyway here is my list: (A) Jewish communal life, such as day schools for children & teens, is prohibitively expensive. This is of course no problem for all the professionals & businessmen, but it helps push working-class Jews down into poverty. (B) Rampant class discrimination. The kids of working-class Jews--who are already struggling as described in (A)--are often ridiculed & insulted by their better-off Jewish classmates. (C) Obvious lack of interest, among young Jewish women, in dating &/or marrying Jewish men. If a Jewish guy insists on dating only Jewish ladies, he'd better resign himself to life-long celibacy! As a result, the vast majority of young Jewish males simply have no choice but to find gentile partners. CONCLUSION: All these situations, especially what I've described in (C), have applied to my own family. Therefore it is hardly surprising that, of my 4 grandchildrem, none are Jewish. But it's all right--they're all happy & healthy & gorgeous & I love them whatever they are. . So I might not achieved religious/cultural continuity, but at least I've got genetic continuity. What think you?

Mike, June 16, 2017 4:30 PM

interesting

thank you for sharing this. It is very thoughtful.
Regarding point (A), from some calculations I made, it is very hard for me to understand why Jewish education (or any education for that matter) is so expensive. If the class size is suffiently large (20 kids) and there are moderate school fees and the school can also demand(!) money from the government, there should be no issue in paying rent for a classroom and adequate hourly pay for teachers. In fact regarding class size, how come university lectures can have 50-200 students and things work out? Let's be honest, many Jewish kids are smart enough.
I think the question is, where does all that money GO?
(B)- this is an unacceptable phenomenon and it demonstrates a lack of Jewish-religious values as this is forbidden by Torah. I am afraid that 1.this is often the result of non-Jewish mothers of children in Jewish schools and 2. it produces a negative attitude towards Jewish society (of that community in particular), which in turns dramaticallt shrinks social contacts after school-age and the dating pool for later marriage. (how will people meet if everyone is avoiding the community?)
(B) is also the failure of teachers/directors/communal leaders rabbis.
regarding (C)-it seems to me that many young Jewish women put off marriage until their late 20s and find a strange SATISFACTION in not meeting/dating men because as long as they keep all their options,they can't lose anything.Unfortunately, the same women can later end up waking up in their 30s and bemoan that all the Jewish men are married (also to Non-Jewish women).

But another point: let's be honest. Jewish schools expensive,inexpensive or non-existant: Do Jewish children learn Torah? Unfortunately almost nothing.
And I believe that is the prime reason for intermarriage.
If Jews do not think the Torah is true or know what it says, at the end of the day, emotions can be stronger.

(7) Dr C D Goldberg, June 15, 2017 3:02 PM

Orthodox Judaism

Traditional modern Orthodox Judaism, which I am proud to follow, is the only way to go. And it is about high time that children the day they are born, that their Jewish and Hebrew Education must commence, and be made worth their while to enjoy being Jewish and their buy in as well. They must be encouraged and not forced to practice Orthodox Judaism, marry in the Jewish Faith and enjoy the practice of being Jewish. Having said what I have written, the problems that I see in my own backyard is that Jewish People are very picky who they marry, and are not willing to marry fellow Jews with defects and faults, and also the birth rate is very low, not to mention the intermarriage that takes place for love and happiness and compatibility is important to people. A paradigm shift is needed in the way Judaism is taught, it's customs, Kashroot and youth and adult development including education and training is needed, The Christians and Muslims go out of their way to reach out to their followers, with good church and mosque attendances and growth, and it is time that Jewish Leadership and Clergy come up with creative ideas to grow shul attendances and grow the Jewish faith and increase the number of Jews in the world, plus a culture of self defense is also needed. Please encourage a love for Kashroot as well. It is time for the Jews to grow to greater heights.

CBYI, June 16, 2017 3:09 PM

Um, oxymoron much?

Do you even hear the contradiction in "traditional modern orthodox judaism"? If it's traditional, it's not modern. And if you have to qualify orthodox with modern, it's not orthodox either.
I do agree that there's a problem with the way Judaism is being taught today, having gone through the Jewish day school system. There are a lot of reasons people are turned off though, and proselytizing is not something that we as Jews do. Our focus needs to be more on kiruv than bringing non-Jews into Judaism, which starts with an overhaul of the day school system.

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