27 May 2019

American Jewish Demography

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, has been a long-term adviser on strategy issues to the boards of several major multinational corporations in Europe and North America.He is board member and former chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) of the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

In his article (excerpts below) on ArutzSheva, Dr Gerstenfeld puts forth the *future of American Jewry:

"The non-Orthodox Jewish world continues to claim the affiliation of a decided majority of Americans self-identified as Jews. Yet it has morphed into a different kind of Jewish community which future seems to be in doubt. Only a tiny percentage of students educated in the Reform and Conservative institutions receive a Jewish education that compares even remotely with the level of their secular education.

“Many non-Orthodox children are by now four or five generations removed from knowing family members who had a grounding in Jewish knowledge or observance. For at least two generations, the majority of Jews outside the Orthodox community have intermarried. This has resulted in a continuing movement of the liberal denominations toward accepting as Jewish anyone who wants to be a Jew. Many have assimilated and have little or no Jewish identification.

“Consequently, it seems that Orthodoxy is on a path to dominating American Judaism and that Orthodox Jews will grow dramatically both in numbers and influence. Haredi Orthodoxy is already substantially larger than modern Orthodoxy. Haredi Orthodoxy’s growth will probably be greater than that of any other segment of the Jewish community.

“The tendency of Orthodox Jews to protect their values and interests is likely to continue to produce political influence that is disproportionate to the number of Jews in the general population. Orthodox Jews have the financial resources, the sophistication and the motivation to play a substantial role in issues that are of genuine interest to them. My guess is that the pro-Israel lobby in America, though it will be Orthodox-dominated, will continue to be very effective.”

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* that is, if antisemitism does not up-end this conjecture.

I would like to read his take on the current rise in antisemitism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The day will be when there will be no choice. Every Jew will be living in Eretz Yisrael. Problem is that how many Jews will there be after all this assimilation and intermarriage. This is why kiruv has become so important so we can save as many Jewish neshamot as possible. H' has already started to prepare our people by letting anti-semitism do its job of awakening the Jews to learn and/or remember who they are and where they belong. Trouble is many cannot make Aliyah yet but H' will take care of it all; the main thing is the Jew himself has to wake up. Also, we pray the Jewish people in EY will awaken and realize the downward turn the State has taken since the evil Oslo accords. Galut has been brought into our holy EY and that has to be turned around, but while the Erev Rav lead, it's an uphill battle. We pray Moshiach is very close at hand to redeem us from this terrible spiritual time in Jewish history.