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July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘intermarriage’

Wasserman-Schultz Puts Stamp of Approval on Intermarriage

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has done somersaults after making a comment noting the “the problem of intermarriage” in the Jewish community and then insisting she does not oppose it.

It is a bit bewildering that Wasserman Schultz, who also is head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), felt the need to retract a comment that should not have raised too many eyebrows.

Her remarks were made at a Jewish Federation event, in which she said:

We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage. We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community—particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance.

The playback must have sounded too committed to her and anyone, mostly in the Reform Movement, whose idea of “commitment” is not to be committed to anything, such as the Torah, that interferes with the individual as the judge and jury of what is wrong and right.

Here is how she backtracked:

At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community. I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it.

Is it guilt that was behind her repentance? Does she feel guilty for saying intermarriage is a “problem” when members of her family are a “product of intermarriage”?

Is it forbidden to say that intermarriage is a problem?

Apparently so.

Wasserman Schultz has implicitly put her stamp of approval on the “problem” of assimilation, which is estimated at 60 percent in the United States.

Reform Judaism does not officially oppose or favor intermarriage, although there is a clear trend of its clergy to officiate at weddings between a Jew and a non-Jew.

Polls show that only 25 percent of children of intermarried couples identify themselves as Jewish, and the term “Jewish” can be understood in its widest and most liberal interpretation that gives a person the self-satisfaction of calling himself a Jew while wolfing down a cheeseburger on Yom Kippur.

The Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted Ira M. Sheskin, of Cooper City, director of the University of Miami’s Jewish Demography Project, as saying, “There’s no question that there’s significant concern in the Jewish community over the percentage of people who are choosing not to marry Jews… From the point of view of a community that wants to see itself around in the next 100 years, it’s not a good trend.”

Wasserman Schultz’ Conservative synagogue Rabbi Adam Watstein told the Florida newspaper that “intermarriage is a feature of the reality of the Jewish community in the United States.”

That is true if the Jewish community accepts intermarriage. It is not true if it does not.

Prof. Sheskin mentioned that there is intermarriage in his own family, but that didn’t stop him from forecasting the obvious result of intermarriage for Judaism.

Wasserman Schultz couldn’t go that far, and her justification of what she admits is a “problem” is one more alarm siren for what remains of American Jewry.

3 Arrested in Arson at Jerusalem’s Mixed Jewish-Arab School

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Three members of the extremist Lehava organization, ages 18 to 22, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the torching of a mixed Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem on November 29. Brothers Nachman and Shlomo Twitto, and Yitzchak Gabai were arrested in joint operation by Israel Police and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency.)

A playground and two first-grade classrooms at the Max Rayne Hand in Hand School were set ablaze in the attack. Grafitti spray-painted on the wall of the Jerusalem school in glaring scarlet read, “Down with assimilation,” “Death to the Arabs,” and “There is no co-existence with cancer.”

Details of the case were first made available to the public in part this week, after the Tel Aviv Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court partially lifted a gag order.

Under interrogation the three suspects confessed to having set fire to the building and said they were motivated by the fact that both Jews and Arabs attend the school. In addition, they said they were attempting to raise social awareness via the media regarding Jewish assimilation in Israel.

Their attorneys, Itamar Ben Gvir and Avichai Hajbi, said however that the confessions were coerced and could not be used as evidence in a trial.

Lehava is a group that works to prevent intermarriage and opposes Jewish co-existence with Arabs. The group is known for its involvement in a number of racist incidents.

Politicians across the spectrum condemned the attack.

Chelsea Clinton Gives Birth to (Non-Jewish) Baby Girl

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a baby girl on Friday night.

Chelsea, and her husband Marc Mezvinsky, named the baby Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

Chelsea tweeted a few hours after the birth:

Marc and I are full of love, awe and gratitude as we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.

The baby’s famous and very excited grandparents are, of course, former President Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Congratulations on giving birth to a healthy baby.

 

When she announced he pregnancy, Clinton, who heads an interfaith society had previous said, “With all candor, because my husband is Jewish and I’m Christian, and we’re both practicing, it’s something that’s quite close to home.”

Chelsea used a very loose definition of “practicing”.

As Rabbi Stav, the head of the moderate, Israeli Orthodox organization, Tzohar, said in November 2013,

“The problem of assimilation among American Jews is not only an American problem, it’s our problem, too. There’s an ocean of ceremonies and an ocean of people eager to conduct ceremonies. Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish guy. I’m not arguing the legitimacy of it, you’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew? You want me to recognize the rabbi who officiated at her wedding as a rabbi? Are you trying to push intermarriage through my back door?”

Assimilation is rampant among non-Orthodox Jews in America and is even worse in Europe.

According to Jewish law, a person is only considered Jewish if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent a proper conversion. Simply calling yourself Jewish, when you’re not, does not make one Jewish.

Charlotte will of course be able to properly convert to Judaism when she gets older, if she wants to become a Jew.

Judaism does not discriminate against anyone who wants to sincerely take upon themselves the obligations and laws of the Torah, and join the Jewish nation.

Muslim Man Threatens to Blow Up his Jewish Wife in Eilat

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Charges have been filed against a Muslim man (21), originally from the neighborhood of Issawia in Jerusalem, for threatening to blow up his pregnant wife with a bomb. The woman is Jewish and converted to Islam, according to a report on Erev Eilat News.

The couple moved to Eilat a year ago.

After getting into a fight in their apartment on Los Angeles Street, the man cursed and threatened his pregnant wife. The woman, fearing for her safety, pulled out a knife to defend herself. The husband took the knife away and hit her in the face.

The woman then escaped the apartment and went to stay with a friend.

Her husband found her two days later, and threatened to blow her up with a bomb.

He told her she has 24 hours to leave the city, or he’ll make her disappear.

The man also sent a threat to his wife’s girlfriend via Facebook, writing what he would do to another man that called his wife, and to “ask his friend what we do to a man that goes near another man’s wife.”

Israelis Fiercely Oppose Inter-Marriage

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Three-quarters of Israeli Jews and nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs would not marry someone from a different religion, according to a Dialog poll conducted by Haaretz this week.

The survey found that opposition to interfaith relationships was highest among Haredi Jews, at 95 percent, while 88 percent of traditional and religious Jews and 64 percent of secular Jews also opposed inter-dating.

Seventy-one percent of Muslim Israeli Arabs opposed interfaith relationships, but only half of Christian Israeli Arabs were opposed.

Across religious denominations, Israeli Jews would be much more opposed to their relatives marrying Arabs than they would be to relatives marrying non-Arab non-Jews. Only a third of secular Jewish Israelis would be opposed to a relative marrying an American or European Christian, but a majority would oppose a relative marrying an Arab. Seventy-two percent of Israeli Jews overall would be opposed to a relative marrying an Arab.

Last week, a small far-right group protested in Jaffa outside the wedding of an Israeli Arab and a Jewish-born Israeli who converted to Islam.

Intermarriage rage in Israel used to be minimal but has grown to approximately to five percent nationwide, and only 1 per cent of less in Judea and Samaria.

The primary cause for the rise increase is the large-scale immigration of Jews from the former Soviet bloc. Approximately 300,000 immigrated even though only the father was Jewish. A child is Jewish if his or her mother is Jewish, regardless of the religion of the father, according to Jewish law.

Not surprisingly, opposition to intermarriage was lowest among immigrants from the former Soviet Union. More than half would avoid having a relationship with a non-Jew, but if they were to fall in love with a non-Jew, only 35 percent would insist their spouse convert.

Two-thirds of Israeli Jews see intermarriage as a serious threat to Jews worldwide, and one-third see it as a serious threat to Jews in Israel.

The rate of intermarriage in the United States has shot up to more than 60 percent.

Chelsea Clinton Pregnant with Non-Jewish Child

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Chelsea Clinton, America’s poster child for intermarriage, announced on Thursday that she is pregnant.

Chelsea, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton, married Marc Mezvinsky, in a much publicized ceremony run by a Reform (nebech) rabbi and a Methodist minister, effectively pruning away that 3300 year old Jewish branch of the Mezvinsky family.

Clinton, who heads an interfaith society had previous said, “With all candor, because my husband is Jewish and I’m Christian, and we’re both practicing, it’s something that’s quite close to home.”

Though since her husband married out of the Jewish people, effectively making him the final link in a formerly unbroken Jewish chain, Clinton is certainly using a very open-ended definition of the word “practicing”.

As Rabbi Stav, the head of the moderate, Israeli Orthodox organization, Tzohar, said in November,

“The problem of assimilation among American Jews is not only an American problem, it’s our problem, too. There’s an ocean of ceremonies and an ocean of people eager to conduct ceremonies. Chelsea Clinton married a Jewish guy. I’m not arguing the legitimacy of it, you’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew? You want me to recognize the rabbi who officiated at her wedding as a rabbi? Are you trying to push intermarriage through my back door?”

Assimilation is rampant among non-Orthodox Jews in America.

This is Bill and Hillary Clinton’s first grandchild. Congratulations.

Avigdor Lieberman Warns US Jews ‘You Are Facing a Catastrophe’

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jews are facing nothing less than a demographic catastrophe, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman asserted on Tuesday in a speech at the Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.

He quoted recent surveys that show that there are 6.1 million Jews in Israel and slightly less than 5.5 million in the United States, not including those who claim affiliation or identity with Judaism.

Lieberman emphasized that no Jew – whether in the Diaspora or in Israel and whether Reform Conservative or Orthodox – “is illegitimate and should be placed outside of the tent,” but he added. “There is a significant rise in those who have little or no Jewish content in their lives, marry outside the faith and are not raising their children Jewish.”

He pointed out, “The intermarriage rate has reached a high of 58% for all Jews, and 71% for non-Orthodox Jews, a huge change from before 1970 when only 17% of Jews intermarried.”

Attachment to Israel is markedly higher among older Jews, with only 32% of respondents under the age of 30 sharing the idea that “caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them.”

Lieberman then put the cards on the table and categorically stated they are stacked against the Diaspora.

“For many years, Israeli officials have called on our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, like many of you gathered here tonight, to donate your time, energies and funds to Israel,” he said. “However, I turn to you today and say that, while we are enormously and forever grateful for your assistance, we believe it is now time to concentrate on the challenges facing your own communities, especially those emanating from the dangerous trends in the Jewish community demonstrated in the recent survey.”

Lieberman was being kind. He could just as easily have said, “You American Jews sit as armchair generals for Israel, undermine our government’s struggle by deciding how we should deal with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world while you don’t see that the ground in the Diaspora is crumbling under your feet.”

In more diplomatic language, he said, “Above all discussions on Iran and the Palestinians, your discussions with the Israeli Government and the Jewish Agency should be focused on saving future generations.”

Lieberman stated that education is the key to fighting “assimilation, intermarriage and disengagement” but that “Jewish children are being kept from the Jewish classrooms because of the exorbitant and prohibitive costs of Jewish education in the United States.”

“On my last visit to New York, I met with a Russian Jewish family in Brooklyn,” Lieberman told his audience. “They told me that for their three children to attend good Jewish schools it would cost them around $100,000. They simply could not endure such costs. They are not alone. This situation is being replicated across the Jewish world, whether in the United States, Russia, France, Argentina, or elsewhere. If this situation persists, we will lose another six million Jews in a generation or two.”

He said that most Israeli diplomats abroad shun local Jewish schools and instead send their children to learn at international schools because the standard is higher.

“Sadly this is also reflective of the general Jewish population in places like the United States, where only around 12% of Jewish children attend Jewish schools, and when the Orthodox children are removed from the equation; it drops down to no more than a few per cent,” he added.

Lieberman proposed the creation of a global network of Jewish schools with a superior standard, and he committed the Israeli government to budget $365 million a year in matching funds for the project.

He also is looking forward to massive aliyah “The creation of an international network of Jewish schools is only the first part of my vision,” Lieberman declared. “In addition, my goal is to bring an additional 3.5 million Jews from the Diaspora in the next ten years so that the Jewish population in Israel will exceed 10 million.”

Jews are undoubtedly a major influence in American life, but the number of Jews who are Jewish “in name only” spells a dismal future for the Diaspora.

One of the most self-serving ways to deny the future is to accept the definition of a Jew as anyone who considers himself Jewish. That kind of identity is temporary, at best.

Jewish institutions and organizations maybe boasting larger numbers, but the meaning of Jewish is becoming emptier.

What Lieberman essentially told the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem Tuesday was, “Wake up. It’s later than you think.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/avigdor-lieberman-warns-us-jews-you-are-facing-a-catastrophe/2014/02/19/

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