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Thursday, September 6, 2007

You don't say: Younger American Jews are alienated from Israel

As Rosner tells us: Younger American Jews are alienated from Israel. It seems another study has found what we already know.

The reality of young Jews is informed by Rabin's assassination and the second intifada. The impact of this is immediately evident in their use of the word "they" rather than "us" when they talk about Israel. The Jewish state is tangible and emotional for most Jewish organizations but is an abstraction for many younger Jews.

Probably it is, all true, but there are other, "organic" reasons for the change. Each decade, we get one decade further from the Holocaust and its lessons, and one decade further away from both the old Jewish culture, and the Zionist culture that Jewish immigrants had brought to America.

"Historians and philosophers have tried to understand history. Our task is to change it."

If the Jewish state is an abstraction for younger Jews, how can we change that? Maybe we can't:

...40% of older Jews were rated in the study as highly attached to Israel, just 20% of younger Jews ... Many of them (more than half) just don't feel comfortable with the whole idea of a Jewish state.


"Don't feel comfortable with the whole idea of a Jewish state." Why? Are they bothered by the idea of an Italian state or a French state or an Egyptian state?

Ami Isseroff

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


  • The original article said "NON ORTHODOX" young people

    By Blogger Daniel, At September 7, 2007 1:18:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • Hi,
    Quite true - the study did not examine Orthodox Jews, claiming there were too few in the sample.

    There are apparently about 600,000 Orthodox Jews. I don't know what proportion are young people. Unless there are increasing numbers of Orthodox Zionist young people, it would still be true that as a group, young Jews are less interested in Israel than the older generation.

    Nor is orthodoxy any guarantee of interest in Israel. The Neturei Karteh who met with Ahmajinejad didn't seem to like Israel very much.


    By Blogger Made4biz Security, At September 27, 2007 7:29:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • You know the difference between a French state and a Jewish state. All citizens of France are French. All citizens of the Jewish state are not Jewish.

    By Blogger Aaron Carine, At July 16, 2008 6:01:00 PM GMT+00:00  

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