What Ails American Jewry

The writer takes liberal American Jewry to task, but doesn't expect them to be around for long.

Tags: NIF
Paula R. Stern

OpEds Paula Stern
Paula Stern

Have you ever wondered what was wrong with American Jewry? I have…and after seeing a post on my Facebook page about an upcoming event at a synagogue in Boston, I think I've found the perfect answer to what ails American Jewry. No, it isn't assimilation, though that too is a shocking result of how American Jews have been raising their children for generations. It isn't intermarriage, yeah, that too. Those are symptoms of the problem, not the problem itself.

Over 30 years ago, an uncle (three out of four of his children have married non-Jews, one converted to Christianity, two got divorced, one intermarried a second time) told my sister, "I don't like what you people are doing over there."

"You people" were Israelis to him and rather than learn about Israel and what Israel was doing, my uncle chose the easy way out. He listened to the media and bought the story. He'd even been to Israel one time, more than some of his kids ever accomplished.

The "You People" attitude is what's wrong with American Jewry. That's it. That simple. So long as Israelis are - you people, American Jewry will continue on its path to oblivion.

How is Temple Israel in Boston helping to celebrate Israel's Independence Day? Well, not with fireworks and parties, that's for sure. What they've done, instead, is invite two notoriously anti-Israel speakers from two notoriously anti-Israel organizations - New Israel Fund and JStreet.

According to the Americans for Peace and Tolerance this is not the first time this "temple" has taken the less traveled road...at least for Jews who supposedly care for Israel. "Last year, Temple Israel’s Rabbi Ronne Friedman invited to the synagogue his personal friend and anti-Semitic former Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston, Suhaib Webb. Imam Webb has claimed that animosity toward Jews is understandable and last summer proudly and openly raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a group Israel banned as a Hamas charity," the organization posted to their website.

So JStreet and New Israel Fund will have the floor at "Temple Israel" tomorrow. They are, as far as I am concerned, welcome to it. The bigger question for Rabbi Friedman and the rest of the people who go there is who will attend similar programs in a generation or two, when their children are all gone, no longer proud Jews, probably not even Jews at all.

No Israeli was invited to speak (and even if these two characters have Israeli citizenship, that doesn't make them Israelis), and there is likely little Israel in Temple Israel. Today here in Israel, we celebrate the rebirth of our nation after 2,000 years of exile. For 2,000 years, Jews accomplished the impossible - while our bodies were in exile, our hearts and souls remained connected to our ancient and now modern homeland.

What this and other events scheduled at this "synagogue" prove, is that the so-called leadership of Temple Israel have managed to lose their bodies, their souls and, in all honesty, one has to wonder about their minds as well.

So knock yourselves out, Jeremy Ben-Ami (a name I have always loved, so incredibly inappropriate. "Son of my people"? Not by a long shot) and Danny Sokatch...you are, in every sense of the word, what is so wrong with American Jewry and ultimately, the ones who will pay for your ignorance and self-hatred is not Israel but your own children and whatever is left of their Jewish souls.

Also from the Anti-Israel Event