Grim study on recession’s impact on Jewish life
07/20/2009 - 00:00
James Besser
Monday, July 20th, 2009 It’s not happy reading, but studying it should be a mandatory assignment for  every Jewish activist. Steven Windmueller’s  paper on The Unfolding Economic Crisis: Its Devastating Implications for American Jewry, lays out a crisis that will continue to impact the Jewish communal world for many years even if the economic downturn ends soon. He concludes “In the midst of it, core institutions are being fundamentally reshaped and individual lifestyles reconstructed. These economic challenges threaten the existing infrastructure of the American Jewish community, leading to a new order of institutions and leaders.” For many older Jews, “many of their core institutional patterns of personal engagement have been altered.”  And for younger Jews, the economic dislocations “may foster opportunities for further experimentation and disengagement from the traditional patterns.” The net result “is likely to be a far weaker, less cohesive American Jewish community.”

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