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Head of Anti-Assimilation Group Appeals to Zuckerberg

Benzi Gopstein, head of the Lehava Organization, sends a letter to Mark Zuckerberg over his marriage to a non-Jew.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/25/2012, 4:15 AM

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
Reuters

Benzi Gopstein, head of the Lehava Organization for the Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land, sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The letter dealt with the 28-year-old Jewish founder of the popular social network’s marriage to longtime non-Jewish girlfriend Priscilla Chan.

“I don’t know you, nor did I give you a ‘like’ on the occasion of your wedding; to be precise, if Facebook had a ‘dislike’ button I would have given you a big ‘dislike,’” Gopstein wrote.

“I’m writing to you not for my sake, but on behalf of the Jewish people of every generation, being that you are part of this people, like it or not,” he added.

“True, you did well in the stock market, but just to remind you, money isn’t everything in life. You chose to marry a non-Jewish woman and by doing so, you disconnected yourself from the Jewish people, and your children will not be Jewish, even though their last name will be Zuckerberg; even if they’re cute and get a lot of ‘likes’, they will remain non-Jews in every respect.

“I believe that you won’t pay any attention to this letter, but I’m writing anyway, not only to you, but through you to many more Jewish men and women who don’t see anything wrong with assimilation, to those Jews and Israelis who gave a ‘like’ to the wedding, to the media who got all excited. I’m here, on behalf of the Jewish people, to spoil the party.

“Golda Meir, who was Israel’s Prime Minister, said that any Jew who assimilates is essentially a partner to the Nazis’ work, since through assimilation you yourself are exterminating the continuation of the Jewish people. Assimilation is bringing the extermination of the Jews to the seventh million!

“Unfortunately, you are not alone. The Jewish people are losing themselves in the Exile through assimilation. At the current rate, in the not-so-distant future there will be no more Jews remaining in the Exile.

“In Israel, too, assimilation is hitting us quite a bit because of your Facebook, where every Mohammed is ‘CitySlicker’ and every Yusuf calls himself ‘Prince Charming,'” said Gopstein.

Referring to Zuckerberg by his Hebrew name Mordechai, Gopstein concludes by saying that “as long as the candle burns, you can correct yourself. Separate from the non-Jewish woman and find a good Jewish one, and to make up for your mistake, go on a major campaign on Facebook against assimilation.”

Earlier this week, Dr. Aliza Lavie, a communications researcher, lecturer at Bar Ilan University and social activist, spoke out against Zuckerberg’s intermarriage.

“The children of another successful Jewish man will not be counted as Jews,” Lavie wrote on her Facebook page. “This wedding does not bother many American Jews, and quite a few Israelis as well. This is integration at its best. But this is not the whole picture. The stories of intermarriage and assimilation are not only a ‘religious’ problem.”

She added, “It's much more than that. Large sections of the younger generation of American Jews are no longer with us. Treating mixed marriages only as a religious matter which does not interest those who are non-religious misses the reality that threatens us all, religious and secular alike.”

Intermarriage has also been a concern in Israel, particularly with younger girls who are enticed by neighboring Arabs and in some cases end up running off with them and leaving their families. Lehava is one group which tries to fight this phenomenon.