In what is being called a “dramatic departure” from historic American Jewish behavior and values, a new study of U.S. Jews has found that a growing number no longer thinks it is important to have mostly Jewish friends, marry Jews, have an attachment to Israel or ensure the welfare of other Jews.
The study by sociologist Steven M. Cohen of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem warned that as Jews identify less and less as a group, they are withdrawing from “philanthropy, [Jewish] organizations, peoplehood, Israel and Jewish-gentile interactions.”
Proponents of a state bias crime bill in the Jewish community stepped up their political pressure on New York officials this week following the brutal murder of a gay college student in Wyoming.
“It’s time for the Albany shuffle to end,” said Howard Katz, associate regional director of the Anti-Defamation League at a press conference last Friday. “The three leaders have each said it’s the other guy’s fault.”
Sen. Alfonse D’Amato made an impassioned pitch for support at a closed-door breakfast meeting with Jewish leaders this week while denouncing his Democratic challenger, Rep. Charles Schumer, as a “putzhead” who could not match his record on Israel, according to several participants.
While the candidates in the contentious battle for Senate wage all-out war for the Jewish vote, sparks have yet to fly in the governor’s race, in which Republican George Pataki is far outpacing Democratic challenger Peter Vallone.
A refugee from Nazi Europe and a Long Island pharmacologist who began his career during the Depression received good news from Stockholm last week — announcements that they had won Nobel Prizes.
Viennese-born Walter Kohn, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He shares the award and a $978,000 prize with John Pople of Northwestern University in Chicago.
His given name is Aaron, the same as the first High Priest of the Children of Israel. He wears garments similar to those worn more than 2,000 years ago by the kohanim (Jewish priests) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
But this Aaron, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland whose mother died in Auschwitz, is a priest of a different kind. Having converted to Catholicism at the age of 15, he has risen to become Archbishop of Paris.