Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Any attempt to change this frustrating situation requires a fresh approach to the issue. We must first create a connection for young Jews – not born out of fear, but out of cultural pride and religious significance. We need to attract Jews to Israel not by highlighting its superficial attractions, nor by fixating on our people’s history as victims, but by broadcasting clearly why the Western Wall, the Kinneret, Masada and even the beaches of Tel Aviv have intrinsic meaning for young Jews today.
For Israel to remain core to Jewish identity, young adults must discover what it is inside of them that makes Israel their birthright and why that matters. Central to this is developing a fundamental relationship with Jewish traditions and history.
In order to help young Jews connect to both their Jewish heritage and Israel, we must look ahead rather than look back. We must be prepared to rethink Israel and its so-called Jewishness with today’s Jews in mind.
It is our responsibility not to force the romantic vision of the country – or the often Holocaust-driven vision of it – upon them, but to open the doors for this generation to build its own connection through pride, confidence, and their appreciation for the freedom that has embraced them. We must arm them with knowledge and inspire them with the curiosity to want to build their own intimate connection to the Holy Land.
This call to impassion Jews about Israel is not directed only at outreach professionals like myself, but is indeed the responsibility all Jewish educators – rabbis and teachers, as well as parents and grandparents and, of course, the State of Israel itself. We must build those vital connections, or we will soon face a society of American Jews with a Promised Land that holds little promise for our young people.
About the Author: Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald is director of the National Jewish Outreach Program.
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The answer is an emphatic no.
The meaning of “God’s watch” here is not entirely clear.
Don’t Israelis and Arab Palestinians deserve more than this? Is it not time to stop the insanity?
At age 104, my mother was still concerned about her relationship with Hashem.
Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening
“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”
You’ve discovered our little secret!
Klein’s challenger has demonstrated a propensity to unleash poisonous vitriol, even to other Zionists
President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy.
Welcome the book of Leviticus!
If the nationalist Knesset members don’t provide the answer, the Arab MKs will do so in their place.
International Agunah Day falls annually on Ta’anis Esther, this year on March 13.
Yeshiva University Museum recently hosted an exhibit titled “Threshold to the Sacred.”
Even a foxhole Yid has to admit that antisemitism is on the upswing.
With all the well-earned accolades and fanfare that surrounded last week’s monumental Siyum HaShas, one would expect to find numerous direct references in the Torah mandating the study of Torah. It therefore comes as a great surprise that there is not one direct statement in the Torah commanding its study.
It seems everyone is in a mighty tizzy about young Jews who fail to identify with Israel and don’t much care to visit there. How do we inspire these young folks to develop some feelings for the Holy Land, and attract them to visit Israel?
The whole world seemed to be celebrating the composer Steve Reich’s 70th birthday in October (October 3, to be precise). The New York Times ranked him “among the greatest composers of the century.” The New Yorke rsaid he was”the most original musical thinker of our time.” The Village Voice declared him “America’s greatest living composer.” The Guardian (London) summed it all up by stating, “There’s just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history, and Steve Reich is one of them.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/selling-israel-right-down-the-drain/2007/09/25/
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