Only about 2 percent of the respondents to the New York Jewish Population Study are “Jewish by conversion.” Twice as many people — 5 percent of the study — describe themselves as “Jewish by personal choice.”
The Conservative movement recently conducted a survey of hundreds of its rabbis and the results are in: on the whole, they're as committed to Israel as they've ever been, although younger rabbis have more liberal views about the state than they've used to. The purpose behind this survey is clear: to assure anxious Jewish leaders that, contra the skeptics, Israel remains as vital a part of Jewish life as ever.
I’ve been covering Jewish education for almost 15 years and have interviewed countless people telling me about the myriad challenges (not to mention the financial investment required) of maintaining and passing on our illustrious Jewish traditions.
For interfaith families alone, there is an entire cottage industry of websites like this and this brimming with suggestions, resources, how-to’s and so on for learning about and transmitting our aforementioned traditions.
You know how people always say that pregnant women have a certain “radiance” or “glow” to them?
Well, I swear my 8-year-old daughter Ellie has returned from her first-ever overnight camp experience with a similar glow. And no, I’m not worried she’s pregnant. She’s just very happy, and in less than six days has become visibly more independent, confident and mature. Not to mention tanner.
Being an opinionated blogger whilst also being an objective reporter can be a little tricky.
One day I am writing about why I don’t send my kids to Jewish day school, and later in the week I’m interviewing day school administrators — and parents who are grappling with whether or not to keep their children in day school or instead try out a Hebrew charter school.
If I were hard-pressed to describe the state of American Jewish life today in 10 words or less, I surely couldn’t top Steven M. Cohen’s assessment: “We are demographically distressed and culturally creative.”
I abandoned my husband and children for four days to jet off to sunny California, and I don’t regret it one bit. Worse still, I abandoned Ye Olde Blogge for a full week, a transgression for which traveling, alas, no longer offers an adequate excuse.
While I doubt he cares about my blog missives, and while there is of course something noble about sticking to your opinions even when they are no longer fashionable, Cohen, who is a professor at Hebrew Union College and director of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive, seems to be increasingly out of step with the non-Orthodox American Jewish community.