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The Direction of Jewish Civilization

In an interview with the Jewish Journal [January 11, 2012, by Shmuel Rosner], Harvey E. Goldberg, an American born professor of sociology and anthropology at Hebrew University, said the following in response to a question about whether Jewish civilization is rising or declining:

“First, one should not equate change with decline. Many patterns of Jewish life are undergoing change, and it takes time to reach assessments whether these are contributing to Jewish civilization or detracting from it. Second, calling Judaism a civilization needs to be qualified. Judaism has deep historical roots and has spread throughout the world, but because of the small number of Jews compared to other major civilizations, Jewish culture and religion have always been closely intertwined with other ways of life. Read more »

Proof of Jewish Identity

In an article in the Jerusalem Post [January 12, 2012, “Removing Stumbling Blocks to Jewish Identity], author Reuven Hammer criticized the Israeli Chief Rabbinate for making it harder than it is supposed to be to prove you are Jewish:

“In 2010 the Israeli Chief Rabbinate decided to require documents proving the Jewishness of one’s mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and greatgreat- grandmother when applying for marriage. Needless to say this is a near impossibility for most people. Is this really Jewish law? Read more »

Jewish Future Will Thrive on Devotion, Not Demographics

There was an article in the Chicago Sun-Times with the above title, basically saying our goal shouldn’t simply be to survive — it should be to thrive! It goes on to say:

“Though a lot of contemporary Jewish leaders are worried about our future, our own past suggests we’ll be just fine. It’s not about numbers, and it never has been. Devotion, not distribution, always has been our hallmark as a people. Read more »

Eliminate Dues

Many Jews don’t join synagogues because they can’t afford, don’t want to pay, or resent the high cost of being a member. The cost of tickets for High Holy Day tickets has the same effect. The result is that a very high percentage of Jews don’t ever go to synagogues and do not attend High Holy Day services. These Jews are basically lost from the Jewish social community. Before our eyes, we are seeing a repeat of the Ten Lost Tribes and we have been unsuccessful at saving them from eventual disappearance. Read more »

Is Synagogue Affiliation Important? Should it Be?

In my area of Florida, the Southeast portion, which includes Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach, a recent survey said that 85% of the Jewish population there is unaffiliated with any synagogue.

Most of the Jews in this area are from New York and other East coast areas and they are thought to be a wealthy segment of the national Jewish community. They often consider themselves Jewish and they have the money to join, yet they choose not to.

Could it be that synagogues don’t offer much to attract them? Read more »

Evangelical Support for Israel

I find it very interesting that the Republican Presidential candidates who are criticizing Ron Paul for being isolationist focus on Paul’s unwillingness to support Israel. Are they really that dedicated to Israel’s survival, and if so, why?

Republicans tend to be very militaristic when it comes to foreign policy. They criticize President Obama for not stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program and imply that they would use military force to stop Iran from getting the bomb. They also criticize Obama from leaving Iraq. They believe in applying American power and influence to the rest of the world and call it national security. Read more »

Guest Blogs

[Your Blog Here]This section is for guest bloggers, who may agree, disagree, or offer new information. If you want to be a guest blogger, please contact me, or submit your blog to my email address at martin@martinvesole.com. I encourage you to submit a guest blog because our readers deserve as much information and as many views as possible. Together, we hope to solve the problem of a rapidly diminishing Jewish community.Martin Vesole

Thank you!