One of the unintended highlights of this year’s Conversation — the annual Jewish Week-sponsored two-day retreat for a wide variety of Jewish leaders and future leaders from around the country — was the emerging friendship between two participants with seemingly little in common besides their names. Actually, their name.
While most Jews around the world took pride in the recent news that three co-religionists had won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and that two were from the Jewish state, the bittersweet reality is that those two winners left Israel long ago to do their research, and therein lies a troubling trend.
Not surprisingly, there has already been a large wave of reactions to the first major national survey of American Jews in more than a decade, with its sobering, if not bleak, portrait of a community on the fast track toward assimilation.
In response to Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “Not Too Late To Push In-Marriage?” (Sept. 13), [and Rabbi Jack Wertheimer’s call for aggressively advocating for in-marriage]: Does anyone seriously believe that a serious, committed Jew loses his or her commitment to Judaism because he or she intermarries?
What is happening is the opposite of what people like Wertheimer are saying: people don’t intermarry and then lose their commitment to Judaism. They lose their commitment and then have no reason not to intermarry.
Last Thursday, a 5-year-old British girl, April Jones, who had been raped and murdered, was buried in London after her funeral was televised nationally. She and another young girl were victims of men apparently addicted to online pornography. And although England, like the U.S., bans child pornography, Prime Minister David Cameron plans to take measures to further restrict pornography on the Internet, making Britain “the most family-friendly democracy in the world,” according to a member of his Conservative Party.