Amazingly, that lowest-tier (ranked #154, among the lowest 20% in the country) school’s so-called “Jewish Law Student Association” praised the speaker’s vicious anti-Zionist venom and lies. Their pathetic self-hate appears here in its entirety. That self-flagellating screed is so warped that one initially would suppose it a forgery, impossible to be authored by Jews even in a world of self-hating Jewish apostates like George Soros, Bernie Sanders, and Ben & Jerry.
That document helpfully demonstrates that almost half the people in America who call themselves “Jews” are in fact not Jews.
Much of current American “Jewish” demographic data emanate from a landmark Pew report. Pew asked interviewees to self-identify. If someone told Pew’s pollster he or his parents are or were “Jewish,” Pew took it as gospel.
But who really is a Jew? Through 3,300 years of Judaism until 1983, the only definition of a “Jew” was to be born to a Jewish mother or to convert to Judaism by accepting and undertaking the laws (halakhah) and traditions (mesorah) of Judaism completely and unequivocally, and affirming total belief that every word in the Torah is true and the word of G-d spoken to Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses our Teacher).
On March 15, 1983, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the “Reform” movement’s body of rabbis, passed an unprecedented resolution that declared hundreds of thousands, perhaps one million or more, of non-Jews to be ”Jews.” Prepared by a committee on patrilineal descent entitled “The Status of Children of Mixed Marriages,” the CCAR resolution stated that “we face, today, an unprecedented situation due to the changed conditions in which decisions concerning the status of the child of a mixed marriage are to be made.”
Contrary to thousands of years of unbroken Jewish practice and tradition — which even “Reform” acknowledged as binding through its first 150 years — the resolution overnight accepted the children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers as “Jewish” if the parents nominally would claim they would rear the child that way. Obviously, such a claim by a Jewish spouse who marries a non-Jew has no meaning.
The “Reform” movement’s body of congregational temples is the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism), and their president, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, now travels the country proudly proclaiming that “interfaith families are now the majority of the movement.” (See embedded link at page 9, lower left column.)
Rabbi Jacobs’s assertion that the majority of “Reform”-affiliated families today are headed by a Jewish and non-Jewish intermarried spouse substantiates the underlying math. Let’s say there are 200 married congregants at the “Reform” Temple, comprising 100 marriages, and 60 of the marriages (the majority, which Jacobs asserts) are intermarriages. That means, outright, that at least 60 of those 200 in the temple are non-Jewish under any definition. They alone comprise 30 percent. Beyond that, among their 60 “Jewish” spouses, a certain number of them also are non-Jewish. Many of those “Jewish” spouses are children of outright non-Jewish mothers who intermarried with Jews, and who after 1983 (40 years ago) reared them “patrilineally” as though Jews — although they are not and never were. Others among those 60 are the children of “Jewish” mothers who “converted to Judaism” like Marilyn Monroe via a heterodox rabbi, which means those mothers also were non-Jewish. Some 10-20 (could be more, could be fewer) of the 60 “Jewish” intermarried spouses in our sample thus actually are not Jewish either. So we have 70-80 non-Jews among every 200 “Reform Jews.” That is 35-40 percent.
Even non-Orthodox “Conservative” rabbisregard large swaths of “Reform” “converts” to be non-Jewish because many such “converts” never immersed in a mikveh ritual body of water. Thus, the numbers of outright non-Jews in our 200-person hypothetical sample of Year 2023 “Reform” households stand at 70-80 non-Jews or 35-40 percent “of the movement.” These non-Jewish families, in turn, then have their own children for the next generation.
Inasmuch as “Reform’s” patrilineal policy now is 40 years extant — two generations — the numbers of outright non-Jewish “Reform” “Jews” today, among “Reform” Jews born since the 1980s, well exceeds 40-50 percent. (By contrast, older Reform Jews who were born and grew up well before the 1983 “patrilineal” tsunami and before Jews started marrying non-Jews at record highs — say, people over age 60 — would number a markedly higher percentage of actual Jews.)
Pew reports that “Reform” Jews comprise 37 percent of American Jewry, with “Conservative” Jews at 17 percent, and Orthodox at 9 percent. Pew’s Orthodox numbers manifestly are incompatible with reality in terms of proportion of actual Jews, but the numbers could be correct based on Pew’s fanciful maximizing of Jewish demographics.
Pew is not to blame; they survey people’s stated opinions and do not present as rabbinic authorities. Beyond this,
Pew says that another 32 percent of Jews claim no religious affiliation whatsoever, so their numbers stand to be less Judaic than even “Reform’s” population. Worded in another chart, Pew declares that 27 percent of American “Jews” report “no religion.” Among that group, we may expect many authentic Jews, too —Jewish-born apostates like George Soros, Bernie Sanders, and the Ben & Jerry’s founders. Even so, the numbers reflect huge numbers of non-Jews erroneously self-reporting in that group as “Jews.”
If “Reform” Jews are 37 percent, and Jews of “no religion” are 27 percent, that means approximately one-third of all reported American “Jews” plainly are not Jews. These are the data, conservatively interpreted. Thus, the highly generous census reports of 7.5 million “Jews” now in America, suggesting preposterously a 25 percent increase from the 6 million of the 1970s despite half a century of rife assimilation and intermarriage, actually more accurately are 4.5 to 5 million Jews.
Pew says Orthodox Jews are 9-10 percent of an American “Jewry” numbering 7.5 million. That would approximate 750,000 Orthodox Jews in America. However, if there are 750,000 Orthodox Jews in America but only amid a more realistic 4.5 million-person community, that then doubles the Orthodox percent of American Jewry to at least one-sixth or 16.66 percent. Similarly, if there are 750,000 Orthodox Jews among a slightly larger population of 5 million, that puts the Orthodox percent of American Jewry at 15 percent.
Moreover, Orthodox Jews regularly get undercounted in these surveys because they are harder to count — for practical logistical reasons. For example, “Reform” “converts” are especially eager to answer the phone and respond to such surveys as “Jews by Choice.” By contrast, Orthodox Jews do not want to be bothered. Haredim and Modern Orthodox have less interest in taking the call or remaining on the phone. Many such calls are made on weekends, to maximize reaching survey targets at a time of week when they will agree to answer long polling surveys. However, Orthodox Jews do not touch the phone on Shabbat, except in cases of life or death, and that makes them unreachable most of Friday and Saturday.
Notably, when the World Zionist Congress (WZC) conducted elections in March 2020 for delegates to their quadrennial international convention, “Reform” Judaism and their left-wing cohort won 40 or so seats, “Conservative” Judaism won 20 or so seats, and Orthodoxy and their conservative (political, small “c”) allies won 70 or so seats. Although those numbers were not a scientific population survey but a voluntary affirmation of Jewish affiliation in the context of Zionist engagement, the WZC numbers, by which Orthodox Jews and their conservative (small “c”) cohort so overwhelmingly outvoted the combined non-Orthodox and progressive left, expose the Pew errors that put the Orthodox at only 9 percent of the community. Politics and energy can explain variations in free elections, as can community cohesion, organizing, and “get-out-the-vote” dynamics, but WZC free-election results that so profoundly contradict Pew numbers underscore that Orthodoxy comprises substantially more than 9 percent of authentic American Jewry.
Pew explains how they count Jews. For example:
People are categorized as “Jews of no religion” if they answer a question about their present religion by saying they are atheist, agnostic or have no religion in particular; and they say they had a Jewish parent or were raised Jewish; andthey consider themselves Jewish in some way aside from religion, such as ethnically, culturally or because of their family background.…
Combining 5.8 million adult Jews (the estimated size of the net Jewish population in this survey) with 1.8 million children (living in households with a Jewish adult and who are being raised Jewish in some way, including those who are being raised both Jewish and in another religion) yields a total estimate (rounded to the nearest 100,000) of 7.5 million Jews of all ages in the United States, or 2.4% of the total U.S. population.
In this report, as in the 2013 study, children are treated differently from adults: Children who are being raised as Jewish and in some other religion are included in the Jewish population estimate, while adults who identify as Jewish and some other religion are not. This accounts for the uncertainty inherent in projecting how children will identify when they grow up; some children who are raised as Jewish and another religion go on to identify, in adulthood, solely as Jewish.
In sum, at least 33-40 percent — and probably much more — of self-reporting American “Jews” are not Jews, with ever-higher numbers and percentages of “false Jews” among those born each decade since the 1980s and particularly in the past 20 years.
The ramifications are enormous. When the media report that 25 percent of American Jews oppose Israel or support BDS or regard Israel as “apartheid” or support “Palestinian” demands that Israel hand them Judea and Samaria, we gain new clarity that overwhelming numbers of those hostile respondents include the core of self-identifiers who are not actually Jews to begin with. They simply are not Jews. These are the “Jews” of J Street, Jewish Voice for Palestine, and the CUNY “Jewish Law Student Association.” Like the Erev Rav (Mixed Multitude) who built the Golden Calf in the Sinai Desert, these are the non-Jewish Fifth Column in our midst.
Likewise, when pollsters state that 70 percent of American Jews vote Democrat and 30 percent Republican, know that the divide among actual Jews towards Democrat liberalism probably lies more along the lines of 55-45 percent, more akin to Catholic voting patterns.
Judaism is not and never has been transmitted by blood, genes, DNA; contrarily, patrilineal bloodlines were among the ways Hitler and the German Nazis defined Jews.
No Orthodox congregational rabbi in America today will agree to conduct a marriage for a couple who have no prior affiliation with the rabbi’s community until that rabbi independently has verified that both prospective spouses actually meet the classic normative 3,000-year definition of “authentically Jewish.” Even the most theologically flexible Modern Orthodox congregations now require new families seeking to have their child bar– or bat-mitzva’d at the synagogue to document that the mother authentically was Jewish when the child was born or that the child properly was converted to Judaism consonant with the classic normative standard
Indeed, Orthodox synagogues will not even allow people to purchase gravesite plots in their cemetery sections until prospective buyers can prove unequivocally that they (or the deceased whom they wish to inter) meet Judaism’s classic definition of Jewish. As a result, intermarried couples ultimately cannot lie side-by-side for eternity in Orthodox sections of cemeteries, nor can the children of a Jewish father and non-Jewish birth mother be buried in a family plot with their father in a cemetery’s Orthodox section.
Adapted by the writer, Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer, for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.
To receive Rav Fischer’s Weekly Extensive Torah Commentaries or to attend any or all of Rav Fischer’s weekly 60-minute live Zoom classes on the Weekly Torah Portion, the Biblical Prophets, the Mishnah, Rambam Mishneh Torah, or Advanced Judaic Texts, send an email to: [email protected]