Liberal American Jewish youth's estrangement from Israel
We at MJAC don't ever scream at our readers about every article we post or comment on as being a MUST READ! Yes, you should read our articles. We think they are important, and we think you will agree. But this is truly one of those rare "must reads." It gives one of the reasons that we got together to form MJAC.
Let's face it. As Jews, we love the United States. We treasure the fact that we can live freely in this country like every other citizen. We must also face the fact that as Jews, we have two anchors. One is our Judaism. The other one is Israel.
As more Jews are adopting "progressivism" as their religion and Judaism as their culture to be accepted or discarded depending on circumstances, they are losing their anchors. And so are their children.
From the article:
Many of those who claim to speak for American Jews – including communal lay leaders and nontraditional clergy – seem to express greater affinity for liberal politics than traditional Judaism. In attempting to avoid the appearance of Jewish insularity which rankles so many on the left, they frequently rationalize unbalanced criticism of Israel, ignore the pervasiveness of left-wing anti-Semitism, and disregard classical Jewish tradition. Though viewed as community role models, they are inculcating youth with a slanted message that glorifies secular partisan activism.
Often taking cues from the liberal pulpit, young adults from the nontraditional movements are drawn to J Street, the New Israel Fund, and other organizations that espouse progressive policies at odds with Israel’s sovereign integrity and continuity as a Jewish state. They are also encouraged to pursue dialogue with Muslim advocacy groups, some of which reportedly have extremist ties or sympathies. Scions of liberal Judaism seem to believe that progressivism which undercuts Israel is somehow consistent with Jewish values, although Jewish tradition does not mandate the abdication of religious and national self-interest, the contextualization of Islamist radicalism, or the validation of revisionist propaganda that denies Jewish history.
The sanctification of progressivism attempts to fill a void created by years of shifting priorities and inadequate education. For children reared in Reform and Conservative synagogues, religious instruction typically consists of a few hours a week in supplemental schools that teach little of traditional substance, and which are often abandoned by students following bar or bat mitzvah year. After failing to provide sufficient primary education, the nontraditional movements attempt to keep adolescents and young adults engaged through programs that encourage liberal political activism, but which have little to do with traditional Judaism.
Young Jews are not being taught much about Judaism or about Jewish history. The bond to our heritage is not being established. Because of their religious and historical ignorance, Jewish children, when they go off to college, accept false, and sometimes anti-Semitic views of Judaism. We aren't teaching them, so they don't have the tools to understand that groups like SJP, J Street, JVP, The New Israel Fund, and others are working hard to undermine the Jewish community and Israel.
Right now, the U.S. is a great country for us. As we watch what's happening to European Jews, we'd better understand that this may not always be the case. Israel must always be there for us, and us for Israel.
Read the article. There is a lot to think about.