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Jewish Journal

Jewish Gripes

January 12, 2010 | 8:48 pm

As seen in The Jewish Week

Everyone has pet peeves – the things that really bug you. Sometimes these are trivial and sometimes not, but we all have them and we all wish someone – anyone! – would just hurry up and solve them. According to Consumer Reports, here are America’s top ten gripes:

1. Hidden fees
2. Not getting a human on the phone
3. Tailgaiting
4. Cell-phone use by drivers
5. Incomprehensible bills
6. Dog poop
7. Unreliable Internet service
8. Discourteous cell phone use
9. Waiting for repair people
10. Spam

At JInsider we asked, what are the gripes of American Jews? What changes might encourage a healthier, more inspiring community in which more Jews would want to be involved? This is not about looking back and casting blame on how things got to be this way, but about understanding what are the nagging issues we have with our community. To determine which are the worst of lot, we are currently conducting an online survey asking people to rate Jewish gripes (see list below). The first step to any solution is identifying the problems. We are hoping this is that first step.

To take the survey please go to www.jinsiderblog.com and click on the link. This project will also be part of our three-session program at Limmud NY 2010 (www.limmudny.com). Join us this weekend. We will report back soon with all the results.

Religious Gripes
Lack of modern relevancy
Few inspiring and engaging spiritual leaders
Synagogue membership is too expensive
Progressively liberal standards of Jewish observance
Jewish education fails to deliver
Ignorance of tradition by secular Jews
Self righteous and judgmental Orthodox
Too many mitzvot! 613 is a lot
Still waiting for the mashiach

Community Gripes
Lack of community unity
Israel’s actions are morally complicated
Embarrassing Jews (Madoff, etc…)
Too much focus on unaffiliated and not on the affiliated
Bureaucratic organizations only focused on gathering more money
Philanthropists’ egos
The community’s perpetual identity crisis
Day school is too expensive
Sense of entitlement (unwillingness to pay for Jewish services)

Cultural Gripes
Unhealthy food
Jewish stereotypes
Mass media undermining traditional values
Shifting holidays (darn lunar calendar!)
Pressure to date Jewish
My nose
Too much complaining

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