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.
I recently returned from Florida, where I spent the Kwanzaa break (I've coined a new name for the winter break that I hope will sweep the nation) with my parents. Actually, they used to be my parents. Now they're my son's grandparents. I was once my mother's middle child, her youngest son, one of three apple-cheeked children around which her world revolved. Now I'm just the thing that brings the grandchild during the Kwanzaa break (I think the name is catching on).