by Joshua Einstein
There are numerous efforts by the Israeli government to coopt the American Jewish community into a supportive expatriate-like community. Its primary goal was and remains the ingathering of the exiles into Der Judenstaat. As of late the State of Israel and its quasi-official organs have quieted their apocalyptic proclamations of aliyah-or-Jewish-communal-assimilation leaving the paranoia of survival to American Jewish organizations while using Israel as the carrot to their stick. The unspoken fact (one of several) is that their vision of a mass aliyah is predicated on this horror story of Jewish discontinuity happening in the vast numbers we are being told.
Was one to accept that intermarriage is synonymous with assimilation the apparently ever dwindling Jewish population has turned not to day schools, camps, or Jewish practice to build Jewish identity but to the State of Israel. Through Birthright, MASA, shlichim, and more the State of Israel is taking advantage of the worry of those remaining American Jew’s about the identity of their children and proclaiming that a trip to Israel is the final solution for Jewish identity. But the State of Israel is not funding and supporting Birthright and MASA to shore up the American Jewish community but as a real estate agency tour. They and many of their staff are loudly and proudly telling participants to make aliyah to avoid the pitfalls of assimilation.
Undoubtedly the State of Israel, its quasi-governmental organs, and the many Israeli staff who join them have a (internally) logical argument. For those who seek the continued wellbeing and existence of the American Jewish community and who view intermarriage as equal to assimilation, supporting these efforts is akin to adding another hole to a dyke while claiming to stem the tide of flood waters.
For those who are dedicated to strengthening the American Jewish community without siphoning off many of the most committed and engaged community members to Der Judenstaat there are simple and time tested solutions to the issue of assimilation:
- Donate and send your children to Jewish schools and encourage everyone else too.
- Donate and send your children to Jewish camps and encourage everyone else too.
- Don’t expect the State of Israel to ignore its own self-interests or be the Jewish identity band aid for your bad Jewish parenting. Raise your kids Jewish.
Joshua Einstein is a rabid (but non-totalitarian) secularist Jewish young adult from Hoboken, NJ. He is a conservative Republican and has Hispanic roots. He writes regularly at www.SaveJersey.com.