Many of the major Jewish religious streams, lobbying groups and civil rights groups are encouraging the Bush administration, lawmakers and opinion makers to maintain political support for Israel's July 20 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.
Jews for Jesus, Jews attending churches, low synagogue membership, astronomical rates of intermarriage -- as complex as these issues are, there is at least one remarkably simple and inexpensive solution to encouraging Jewish participation. It's called a warm greeting.
A friendly smile, a warm greeting, an invitation to lunch. If you think that is silly and simplistic, think again. As part of their course work, I require my students to interview two Jews. Because many of them -- all non-Jews, primarily from the South Bay -- lead very narrow lives, they do not know how to find Jews and turn to familiar institutions, one of which is church. Lo and behold -- as the most recent National Jewish Population Survey has finally shown -- they find Jews there.
A leading Arab think tank is backing an old strategy -- to defeat the Jewish State from within by encouraging the growth of its Arab population.