Sunday, April 30, 2006

Where have all the [American] Jews gone ...

I've read somewhere that today there are more Jews in Israel than any other country in the world. So where have all the American Jews gone? They certainly haven't all made Aliyah! The American Jewish Committee undertook a study of the 1.5 million younger Jews, ages 18 to 39, who comprise 29 percent of the U.S. Jewish population. The study came to some interesting conclusions.
" ... Orthodox Jews are more likely to be married by age 30, more than 50 percent of all American Jews under the age of 40 are not yet married, and this has implications for fertility and population growth. Further, approximately 50 percent of Jewish women are childless until the ages of 35-39.
“These patterns suggest that with a static population a higher percentage of future Jewish communal leaders are likely to be Orthodox, Jewish day school attendance among the Orthodox will continue to grow and the community as a whole could be more politically conservative,” said AJC Report.
If you add into the equation that the majority of North American Jews who make Aliyah are observant, the net long term results of the "birth-dirth" are pretty clear.

[Note how affect of the political leanings of the resulting Jewish population are of primary concern to the writer of this synopsis. Interesting?]

Thanks for the tip by JewSchool

Monday, April 17, 2006

One faceless story ....

"Philip Balhasan's relatives said he traveled to Tel Aviv with his two children, Linor and Uri, after promising to buy them CDs and computer games for Passover. The son, Uri, recounted the moment of horror: "When we heard the blast, dad wrapped his arms around me and Linor and hugged us tightly. Then he said 'grab the phone, call mom and tell her about the attack.'" Shortly thereafter, Balhasan collapsed, but police officers who led him to an ambulance were able to talk to him and heard him say he was hurt by shrapnel and by the force of the blast. It appears some of the shrapnel hit Balhasan's heart and he died on the way to the hospital."

As a father to six children who has spent seemingly endless Chol HaMoed taking his various offspring to "the big city" and other attractions, I can't but identify with Philip Balhasan. I looked for a photograph of the man, something to help turn the "statistic" to a real person, but I couldn't find one! Philip is like all of us, a simple faceless individual who lives his life, raises his family and hopes for a better tomorrow ...

[BTW the quote came from the "Sultan Knish" blog. Well worth visiting if you are interested in the "stories" behind the sound bytes and dry statistics of the conventional media!]

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