After reading that according to Pew poll intermarriage and assimilation rates among U.S. Jews is soaring, I say, L’Dor V’Dor, from generation to generation, has profoundly deep meaning for the Jewish Nation.
Overall, the intermarriage rate in the USA is at 58 percent, up from 43 percent in 1990 and 17 percent in 1970. Among non-Orthodox Jews, the intermarriage rate is 71 percent.
According to the Pew poll survey, many American Jews have ‘no religion’ and intermarriage is a direct related phenomenon, much more common among secular Jews; 79% of married Jews of no religion have a spouse who is not Jewish, and intermarried Jews are unlikely to raise their children Jewishly, or to socialize within a Jewish context, or belong to Jewish institutions.
This is an alarming phenomenon for a nation that has always been on the extinct path. There are approximately 8 million Jews living in Israel and approximately 6 million Jews living in the United States.
Where did I come across the L’Dor V’Dor name? At an amazing morning event organized by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Women Division, held at the marvelous almost ‘out of this world’ estate of Jeanni and Tony Pritzker somewhere in Beverly Hills mountains.
The event was about passing the torch to the younger generation to emulate their parents and help ensure the Jewish nation’s future. The award’s recipient was Janis Black Warner, daughter of the philanthropist Stanley Black and late wife Joyce, a pillar of the Los Angeles, Jewish and non-Jewish, community and beyond.
True leadership is passing the torch to the young generation with the hope they do even better.
Perfect fit for the event was the performance of the poet-actress-comedian, always on the search for the meaning of Judaism, Vanessa Hidary, ‘The Hebrew Mamita’:
Based on Jewish values, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles mission is to convene and lead the Jewish community and to leverages its donated resources to assure the continuity of the Jewish people, support a secure State of Israel and care for Jews in need locally and abroad. Also mobilize on issues of concern to the local Jewish community, all with local, national, and international partners. (http://www.jewishla.org/)
The Pew poll clearly indicates how vulnerable we, Jews, are, living in a broken, upside-down world. Whereby Jews were always a target and had to fight hard to maintain their faith and Jewishness, in whatever attire it came, today, 70 years after the Holocaust, after a third of the Jewish nation was murdered, it is clear that the world has learned nothing from history and that includes Jews. Jews, again, are the target and now it is even an easier task, it is collectively done; the bull’s eye is Israel, the only Jewish state of earth.
More so, Diaspora Jews are not only vulnerable to anti-Semitism but also to the new phenomenon of a possible homegrown Islamic terror attack.
Alarmed to this phenomenon Jay Sanderson, the Federation President & CEO explained to the guests that the Federation decided to become proactive. Now every Jewish community is connected and has the support to protect itself with the Federation dollars, all collected from public generosity. The federation helps protecting synagogues, Jewish schools, summer camps for Jewish youth, buildings that are housing Jewish organizations and any other security and protection needs.
The continuation of the Jewish Federation parallels to the continuation of Jewish life outside the state of Israel, with all the obstacles and even at times hitches. If we, Jews, do not preserve Jewish life who will?
If things continue to evolve this way, eventually the only Jews in the world will be the Israeli Jews. And that is why we have two fold mission:
1. To keep Israel strong and
2. To get back to basics of Judaism and save the Jewish communities in the Diaspora from disappearing forever (Three ways to save American Jewry from extinction)
Admitting the frustration I have with my Jewish nation, I hereby call on the few who “get it” to help recruit as many and together the nation of Israel will grow exponentially and become stronger, rather than fail itself.