Last week, (16-22 Kislev) Mark Pearlman wrote an erudite proposal for minding the Jewish communal coffers. He asks how we can adequately fund an engaging and vibrant Jewish community. Eight causes are given for the fiscal deterioration of the community. Unfortunately he missed entirely the main and intractable cause: not enough Jewish children.
The just-released Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 clearly shows that the Jewish population decline in New York has been stemmed by large numbers of babies born to Orthodox families in America. The heroic fertility and educational efforts of Orthodox Jews — sometimes to the point of actual impoverishment — is legendary. Ironically, it is historically the Conservative and Reform Jewish movements that have unintentionally benefited from this Orthodox Jewish investment.
Which section of Greater Los Angeles has the densest concentration of Jewish residents? The urban core, including Fairfax and Pico-Robertson? Maybe Beverly Hills and the Westside? Try the Valley.
Letters to the Editor.
Every other year, our congregation travels to a different part of the Jewish world to meet and, if necessary, help our fellow Jews. Having traveled to Israel, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union many times, as well as Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Argentina and Brazil, our experiences have mostly been with communities under political, demographic or economic siege. This trip was different.
In a single passionate interview recently, Ehud Olmert, Israel's deputy prime minister, managed to do what most politicians only dream about -- recast a nation's political and diplomatic agenda.
I have seen the Jewish future and, to my surprise, it still belongs to the Baby Boomers. By now I'd guess that Boomers would happily cede attention and civic responsibility to Gen Xers and Gen J but nothing doing. One in three Jews today are between ages 35-53, and the needs and demands of this group will dominate Jewish life well into the coming decades.
Anyone from the Western part of the United States aspiring to national Jewish leadership has "got to be an 11 on a scale of one to 10," Burton Levinson says.