Long-festering strains between the world’s two largest communities jeopardize the prospects of a shared Jewish future. Here’s a way forward.
In the 20th century the American Jewish community was the world’s largest and strongest, and helped establish and protect the Jewish state. The 21st century will be different.
From the founding years to the recent years of strength, American Jews have always seen in Israel what they wanted to, not what was necessarily there.
There are more Israeli Jews than ever, so they need American Jews less. And they don’t all look European, so American Jews might have trouble seeing them as “my people.”
They’ve got time, money, and love to spare, and there are more of them than ever. Why isn’t the Jewish community enlisting their help?
Hopeful arguments to that effect have been proffered since the Pew survey two years ago. They’re wrong.
Last year’s survey of American Jews brought dire news—rising intermarriage, falling birthrates, dwindling congregations. Our reanalysis confirms the message, and complicates it.