Posted by Pini Herman
Having hit age 60 this year, I’m part of the “Grey Tsunami” of post World War II Baby Boomers (persons born between 1946 and 1964) who are going reshape society as we know it.
If the Jewish population has remained stable since the 1997 Los Angeles Jewish Population Survey, then an estimated 18 Jews are newly eligible for Medicare each day or over six thousand a year are turning age 65.
This aging trend will only accelerate by 2022, when I am seventy. Then an expected 22 LA Jews will turning 65 each day.
I leave the Jewish communal implications of this aging trend to your imagination and comment.
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August 15, 2011 | 10:56 am
Posted by Pini Herman
Does God command censuses to know how many Israelite family tents there were? There were eight Biblical censuses. These censuses were for Moses, David, Solomon and the other kings because mortal beings, especially leaders, kings, politicians and advocates have a tendency to make up numbers or ignore numbers when it suits them.
I haven’t seen any demographic surveys of the Israeli cost-of-living and housing protesters yet. There’s another demographic measure which I can use from here to test crowd size claims. Density. How many people fit on a defined piece of ground.
An average person feels comfortable in a crowd when the closest other persons are about a foot away and an average adult occupies another foot or so. That totals about four feet by four feet (16 sq. ft or 1.5 sq. meters) and then people start bumping into each other.
So when I read that 300,000 Israelis demonstrated a week ago, I figure that they took up about 450,000 square meters of the Holy Land. I am grateful to Hanan Sher for pointing out my area calculation error. The demonstrators would occupy about a half kilometer in space. There would be plenty of room for the cost-of-living demonstrators in the public spaces available to them.
I’ve also heard that 300,000 Israeli yordim live in Los Angeles county which is about half the area of Israel, so there should be one Israeli every 15 meters or every 50 feet, the size of a typical city lot in Los Angeles.
In 1983, I estimated, 10 - 12 thousand Israeli born people in Los Angeles, if that figure doubled in the past 28 years, I would be surprised.
This is one of the reasons the most recent L.A. rallies to support Israel on Wilshire Blvd. have had almost as many people on the speakers stage, paid staffers, police, firefighters and emergency personnel as actual participants on the street.
Without good information, wild numbers are bandied about to back all sorts of agendas and precious credibility, goodwill and resources are lost.
August 8, 2011 | 12:13 pm
Posted by Pini Herman
LA may be getting more Jewish young visitors than Birthright Taglit is getting in Israel. We are surrounded by wandering young Jews, largely invisible to us, and we Jewish Angelenos, to them.
My relative, David Boross, lives in Budapest, Hungary and came to LA in 1996 at age 16 for a Jewish summer camp experience at Camp Hess Kramer. At the end of camp I picked him up. David was frustrated that not one of his camp mates, the best and brightest LA Jewry had to offer, knew where his country, Hungary, was.
During camp everyone was following the 1996 Summer Olympics. David’s parents, Istvan and Hedvig founded a company OAZIS, which happened to be a corporate sponsor of the Hungarian Olympic team. Rather than be with his parents in Atlanta, David chose a Jewish camp experience. David had bragging rights to three Olympic gold medals for swimming that Hungarians had taken away from, among others, American swimmers. Even with that, David reported that Hungary as a place didn’t seem to register on American Jewish youth. At most, some knew it was in a place called Europe, on the way to Israel.
Hungary by jet is just a three hours from Israel versus the thirteen hours to Los Angeles. It seems that for Jewish identity building and maintenance David prefers to get on a longer flight to LA.
A 31 year-old David messaged me a few weeks ago on Facebook that he was coming from Budapest to LA. David was coming to participate in a opening a time capsule at Camp Hess Kramer that he had sealed in 1996. Well, things hadn’t changed. It was David’s impression the people he met back at the camp still didn’t know where Hungary was and probably don’t know a lot about an active resurgent European Jewish community estimated at 50,000 to 150,000. Hungary’s Jews are like LA and haven’t done a recent Jewish population survey and also don’t know their community’s vitals.
Open up the LA Times and Chris Erskine writes about French Jew’rney, a Paris based Jewish non-profit with the slogan Vivez L’American Dream (Live the American Dream) which gives French Jewish teens an LA experience.
This goes without mentioning the yearly 350 thousand Israeli tourists and business travelers to the US, of whom at least 50 thousand wind up visiting LA. Compare this to the 20 thousand Birthright Taglit visitors expected this summer in Israel from 31 countries. I would wager that more young Jews visit LA from 32 countries (Israel included) than visit Israel.
Just the Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI) at the Brandeis Bardin campus of the local American Jewish University has 70 young adult participants from 10 countries and 15 of the US states this summer, not to mention foreign students at Hebrew Union College and other Jewish educational institutions.
The thousands of young Jews from around the world on the double decker Starline buses who regularly pass the Jewish Federation building on Wilshire without knowing what it is, on their way to Rodeo Drive, unaware it is in the middle of the only majority Jewish city in the U.S.
As as Jewish community we don’t take advantage to our young coreligionists presence and largely remain invisible to them during their American adventure. Where’s Hungary, France, Germany, Australia and Klal Yisrael. Our LA American Jewish kids, and even their LA parents, may never know.
August 1, 2011 | 11:38 am
Posted by Pini Herman
Israeli ultra-Orthodox Haredi women in 2010 were averaging one fewer babies than they were five years earlier. Haredi women are now having 6.5 instead of 7.5 babies according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.
Fertility among Israeli secular women actually increased by 0.15 children over the same 2005-2010 period. This increase in Israeli secular fertility replaced most (80 percent) of the loss of Israeli Haredi fertility.
Some factors cited are that the ultra-orthodox push toward larger families is economically unsustainable given the high cost of Israeli housing and Haredi women going to work in greater numbers while Haredi husbands often study in yeshivahs up to twenty years into their marriage..
As older Haredi mothers with larger families age out of their childbearing years younger mothers replacing them are expected to have less babies over their lifetimes.
The trend of lower Israeli Haredi fertility is expected to continue. I estimate that by 2035 Haredi fertility could likely be 3 to 4 babies per Haredi woman. Secular births, currently at slightly above replacement, 2.3 babies may increase to 3 babies per woman, but its doubtful.
The number of never-married single mothers in Israel has increased from 8,400 in 2000 to 15,100 in 2009 – an increase of about 80%. Its likely that this also contributed to the increase in Israeli secular fertility.