Young Jews and Israel

Last fall there was a good deal of blog chatter and press coverage about a study released by Steve M. Cohen and Ari Kelman that found that “American Jews’ connection to Israel drops off with each subsequent generation.”

But little was done with that information.

Now Sh’ma, in its latest issue on the Jewish communal world, sits down with 5 people (including Kelman) to discuss role of Israel in the identity of Jewish young people today.

As Susan Berrin, Sh’ma’s editor writes:

Israel has been for so many of my generation as essential to our Jewish lives as ether, a preoccupation so keen, so inspiring, often so exasperating that it was unavoidable and no less so for those, like myself, who have lived outside its borders. Judging from our roundtable, it seems that the next generation of Jews — including those actively engaged in Jewish life — do not experience Israel as a formative, crucial factor. While young Orthodox Jews, on the whole, continue to embrace Israel fervently and with little equivocation, they stand out as the exceptions. These impressions startled me, and will no doubt surprise some of you, too. (MORE)

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