In response to PBS’s newÂ series chronicling Jewish Americans, Jonathan Sarna has an essay on “On Faith” that examines the reemergence of secularism in a piece called “Can Secularism Save Judaism?” He writes:
The unexpected rebirth of Jewish secularism reflects, in part, a generational turn: a reminder of the adage that what one generation seeks to forget another seeks to remember.
But as I have suggested … the resurgence of Jewish secularism also reflects more than that. For one thing, Communism has collapsed, so the stigma of subversion no longer attaches to secularists; they can safely come out into the sunlight and once again breathe freely. In addition, secularism has become widespread throughout much of formerly Christian Western Europe as well as in Israel; so it is perhaps not surprising that we are now seeing some of these same trends among young liberal Jews and Christians, particularly on the West Coast and the East Coast (the blue states). (MORE)