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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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Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.
US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi
New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm
Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”
Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
Set limits! Limits must be established and must be enforced – one may not follow the desires of one’s heart and one’s eyes.
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.
The night of December 8, 2008, was exceptionally cold, but those who attended a special reception for Sam Domb at Abigael’s on Broadway in Manhattan felt only the warmth of this indefatigable man’s love for the Jewish people.
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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