Jewish Disengagement

In the November 19 issue of the Jerusalem Post, Naomi Chazan, Israeli sociologist and former member of the Kenesset, states that there is a "new crisis in American Jewry which has more to do with Israel than the formal leadership cares to acknowledge." Many young Jews are increasingly finding themselves "discouraged from voicing their opinions," particularly as those ideas concern Israel-related issues. Unless this "muzzle .... is removed, this situation may become permanent, severely affecting the vibrancy of Jewish life - in Israel as well as the U.S."

Ms. Chazan suggests that there is a "visible gap between American Jews and many of the organizations that claim to represent them." In addition, Americans have little awareness about "the main domestic issues facing Israel today." Perhaps the most significant reason that many younger Jews have deserted their organizational affiliations and feel detached from the Jewish community is because they are offended by the "prohibition" in some circles "on criticizing Israel."

Ms. Chazan insists that "breaking this taboo is essential for the health of U.S. Jewry and for Israel. .... A real discussion can both invigorate and engage; its absence is stultifying."

To read Naomi Chazan's article in its entirety, click here.

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