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Birthrate Worries
Tue, 02/26/2013 - 19:00

Rabbi Simcha Weinstein’s message that Jews should be prolific (“Rabbi To Readers: Be Fruitful And Multiply,” A N.Y. Minute, Feb. 15) should be directed particularly to non-Orthodox Jews.

A bleak future confronts them because of their very low birthrate.

Take the examples of several acclaimed Jews who died in the past two years, whose obituaries were published in the New York Times. Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable (maiden name Landman), Nobel laureate Rita-Levi Montalcini, and recently deceased mayor of New York Ed Koch all had no children. Nobel laureate Rosalyn Yalow left two children and two grandchildren. Reform Rabbi Gunther Plaut, who died at 99, had six descendants.

In contrast, ultra-Orthodox Jews and rabbis, centenarians, have left many hundreds of descendants; one Satmar chasidic woman, who died in 2010, had 2,000 descendants. Unless drastic steps are taken, the future of Jews in Israel and the diaspora is a world of extremist Jews.


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