was going to write about project Masa's new and utterly
counter-productive ad campaign - and share with you all my frustrations
and misgivings. However, J.J Goldberg already wrote about it, and I have nothing to add. I Agree with everything he says.
The campaign we're talking about is this one:
It tells you that more than 50% of young Jews overseas are
assimilating and we are
losing them" (not exactly true). And it asks: "Do you know a young Jew
overseas?" (yes! I do!). And it promises that if you "Call Project
Masa" maybe "together we will strengthen the tie to Israel so we wont
lose him" (I'm afraid we just did!).
Here's a paragraph from Goldberg's blog post:
The reality is that a major proportion of self-identified Jews under
25 today have only one Jewish parent. Many Reform religious schools
report that majorities of their pupils are from interfaith families.
Huge numbers of these children - we used to call them half-Jews - grow
up to become active, identifying Jews. They make up an increasingly
prominent proportion of new, innovative Jewish organizations, projects
and Web sites. From a practical point of view, the issue in America is
no longer how to fight intermarriage. That horse is out of the barn.
The question now is how to draw the new Jews to Judaism.
the Masa folks are looking for young Jews who could use some outreach,
these are the ones they're after. And nobody is going to win their
hearts with commercials implying that their parents' marriage was a
form of genocide.
The reaction to this ad is further evidence of the split within the US
Jewish Community. The reality is that the various parts of the Jewish
community really have nothing in common with each other. As someone
with two Jewish parents that someday hopes to marry another Jew and
raise Jewish children, I completely agree with the ad, and see nothing
wrong with it. Obviously, children of intermarriage and assimilated
people are not going to like the ad. At the same time, this ad was
presented to people in Israel, and not the US - which is a critical
2 | Shani, Monday Sep 07, 2009
I disagree. The only thing that matters is that everyone is talking
about it. That's the only thing that matters in today's world, like it
or not. The campaign achieved its goal
3 | Terry - Eilat, Israel, Monday Sep 07, 2009
#2 - Shani. That was an excellent observation. The issue is so complex
it's mind-boggling. While many issues are quite black & white, this
one has so many facets, as many as there are Jews actually, that just
talking about it is a step in the right direction.
4 | anti-intermarriage, Monday Sep 07, 2009
There is nothing wrong with promoting the idea that Jews should marry
other Jews. It's unbelievable that this would be offensive to any Jew
whose concerned about the future of the our people. The fact that this
ad was a controversy shows the self-hatred that runs rampant in the
Jewish community. Intermarriage is bad for the Jews but that doesn't
matter to the cowardly appeasing crowd that hates anything that smacks
of Jewish pride. Rosner and Goldberg should be ashamed of themselves
for attacking a noble group that only wants to assure the survival of
the Jewish people.
5 | Elizabeth, London, Monday Sep 07, 2009
I just watched this clip and found nothing in it to refer to
intermarriage. It speaks about 'assimilation', and so can be
interpreted as meaning cultural alienation and loss of identity, not a
choice of a marriage partner. I think it is sensitively and tactfully
done. I can think of many Diaspora Jews with two Jewish parents who are
totally alienated from both Judaism (in any form) and Israel, and are
very vocal about it. Presumably this campaign is addressed at them and
those in Israel who know them and can reach them.
6 | ran michael, Monday Sep 07, 2009
the assimilators want to have a clear concsious. the truth is that they
have a big problem. i think that the jews who marry gentiles especially
men have a big broblem.
i think the answear is zionism and judaism. it's not enough to bring
them here. we should work on make them a good zionist. by the way'
there are many israelis who are lost to zionism' to judaism to self
national respect. we should deal with tham too.
7 | ran michael, Monday Sep 07, 2009
rosner - you stayed too much in the state you need to come home' it
starts to affect you. you're becoming a liberal jewish american.
8 | Bill Pearlman New York, Monday Sep 07, 2009
I'm what I suppose is traditional. And in a perfect world all the rest
of you would be right. But we don't live there. When it comes to the
United States, Canada, and Europe when your talking about the
non-orthodox the horse really is out of the barn.
9 | Mike, Portland, Oregon, Monday Sep 07, 2009
Masa, with Netanyahu's approval labels intermarriage a strategic
threat. My wife is now a strategic threat to Israel (meaning enemy)? I
am sorry for whatever $ I gave to Israel & sorry for volunteering
during the Yom Kippur War to save a Kibbutz' fall harvest. Israel is
morphing into an atavistic Israel-istan. Women seated in the back of
the bus? I have 2 adult children from a previous marriage that I have
consciously steered away from "Birthright". Bridget still loves Bernie.
Ezra & Pinchas are ghosts. Universalism trumped particularism long
ago. The Israelis couldn't be more clueless.
10 | Terry - Eilat, Israel, Monday Sep 07, 2009
I think that right now the most important issue is stopping Iran, an
Israeli military strike is our first priority. We can argue over who is
a Jew later - if there are no Jews, we won't have anything to debate.
First things first, as the expression goes.
11 | Steven J - US, Monday Sep 07, 2009
Lets tell white people not to marry blacks? Well that too will go down
badly. The thing is Israel today is 'lost'. Its got its priorities
wrong. Israel hates anything that does not subscribe, promotes and
agree to its official line. There promoting someithing of a 'pure'
race. Its foreign policies and constant millitaristic agenda hasn't and
will continue to be a failure. It needs to get its act together and
realise what good comes out of its intentions and policies. Israel got
its priorities all wrong.
12 | Mike Feldman, Canada, Monday Sep 07, 2009
I was at a concert recently were the featured artist was a black woman
performer. My white friend brought a black woman as his date. When the
performer noticed them she said "Couldn't you find a brother to bring
you here?" Most groups have a degee of chauvanism about marrying "their
own' An Italian friend of mine was disowned by his family for marrying
a Jewish woman. (Knowing his family, I think he wanted to be
disowned.). It is not remarkable that Israel as the keeper of the
Jewish torch would have strong feelings against assimilation. However,
I find it regrettable when it negatively affects good people like #9
13 | Mike Feldman, Canada, Monday Sep 07, 2009
#10. Terry. When the ADF unloads on Iran, it would be good in the bombs read "Iran you've been assimilated".
14 | rejewvenator, NY, Monday Sep 07, 2009
This is just another example of the clash over identity in Israel and
the US. In Israel, Jewish identity is entirely racial - it's the
Nuremberg laws that define who may be a citizen. In the US, identity is
a matter of choice and behavior, not racial inheritance. American Jews
see intermarriage as problematic only in the sense that Judaism is
losing a war of ideas. Intermarried couples that live Jewish lives are
welcomed by non-Orthodox Jewish congregations.
15 | Dav Lev, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
There are hundreds of publications in Israel, many with differing views
on just about everything. So any criticism of the overlall Israeli
public (5.4m Jews) is absurd. Israel's left is strong and advocates a
return to the 67 borders for hoped for peace. It's right wants either
autonomy for the Palies, one state (Jewish), or the 2 state solution.
Again, lots of disagreement. The Orthodox will have none of the
secular..and vica versa. The more extreme, the more distant. ( See
rioting over garage in Jerusalem). Who is a Jew still is debated and
disputed. Israel's Jews are a very diverse people.
16 | Dav Lev, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Look, I am a proud US born Conservative Jew, with many Orthdox to very
secular friends. I don't discriminate. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew. Just
ask any non-Jew. Personally I believe in the Torah prohibition against
intermarriage. Raising children is a must..to give them an identity and
purpose., rather than being adrift. Let's face it, we live in a
Christian country..and are pressured daily to accept non-Jewish
attitudes, or convert. This ad is okay..will turn some people off
however. Id like to know what the success rate is in intermarriage? How
do the children fare later in life?
17 | Dav Lev, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
To Steven: In 1944, Germany asked for 10,000 trucks for 1m Jewish
lives. It wasn't given. Auschwitz gassed 500,000 Jews in 6wks. 6m Jews
died during WW2 caus they were Jewish. 6m Germans were killed and 3m
anti-Semitic Poles. 250,000 German Jews were slautered..good Germans.
Israel a militaristic state? Oh come on. Read the 67 War by Michael
Oren. Rather 12 to judge the nation, than more Holocaust museums. You
would have Israel destroyed. Will you save the 5.4m Jews then? The US
had MAD with Russia, Israel also has the right to defend itself. That
is really what you are against isn't it?
18 | Dav Lev, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
There are 5.5m Jews in Israel. and about an equal number in the USA.,
ranging from Haredi (ultra Orthodox) to the most secular. Some Jews
resent being Jewish..they want to play cards and eat at McDonalds on
Saturdays. Religioius observance is verboten..they laugh at it. They
care less about who they marry..will eat wafers..and have Christmas
trees. Their children grow up to hate their ideals..maybe them too. Or
as one co-worker said to me once, "Act like a Jew, and not a gentile".
Another said: "You Jews are all alike, only the garb is different" (I
am a Conservative Jew). Wake up.
19 | daat y, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Rosner how low can you go?
It appears that you also believe that intermarriage is unimportant to the Jewish people.
20 | Michael Chicago, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
I am an American Jew, who married a non-Jew and have raised and
educated my two sons as Jews (both have traveled to Israel, on their
own, and are committed to the faith). I have traveled to Israel four
times in the past five years, and support several Israeli charities. I
am totally offended by the Masa campaign, which comes on top of a host
of other indignities and affronts toward my denomination (Reform) and
my marital decision. Congratulations, Israel -- you have effectively
eroded my heretofore my warm connection to your state.
21 | ProudJudean, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Steven 11: Are you finished with your laughable rant? There is no "pure
race" line in Israel. We have black Ethiopians, white Russians, and
every shade of skin color in between. Militaristic agenda? We lose
soldiers because we try to avoid hurting civilians. We wait 5 years
before responding to unprovoked rocket attacks. We withdraw from most
of the territory we captured in defensive wars. Our declaration of
independence's motto is seeking peace. The anti-Semitic conspiracy of
lies against Israel like the lies you promote will never change the
22 | Sharona Israel, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Intermarriage is a threat but not in the way you understand. The
grandchildren of intermarrieds rarely remain Jewish. Check the stats on
that. Birthright? You are thinking of one particular program-there are
many birthright trips with many themes. You have done your children a
huge disservice. You are just attacking Israel to assuage your guilt.
Why are intermarrieds so defensive? While you are attacking Israel how
about attacking Muslims who tend to kill people who opt out of Islam?
The girl in FL is a prime example. We are fighting the back of the bus
thing. Come and see!
23 | Sharona, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Israel's "militarism" saves Jewish lives. No one here hates dissent.
People HERE dissent all the time. You are talking from sheer ignorance.
You know nothing of Israel foreign policy. Israel has no official line.
What good comes out of protecting our citizens? We don't die. Pretty
24 | Mike, Portland, OR, USA, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Reply to Sharona, My children are not statistics. They are young single
adults who will make their own romantic choices. As far as future
generations go, most Americans believe only bigots encourage their
offspring to "stick to their own kind". In case you are not aware of
it, Americans don't root for Romeo & Juliet's parents. Hence we
were quite comfortable voting for President Obama, who represents the
embrace of the universal. I could care less about the ethnic mix of my
grandchildren as long as they are kind tolerant people. Different
strokes for different folks trumped separatism.
25 | anti-intermarriage, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
Everyone who agrees with this ad should contact Masa and give them your
support. There's nothing wrong with having Jewish pride and promoting
inmarriage to our young people. That is the best way to insure a Jewish
I'm getting really sick of all the intermarried Jews who are offended
by this ad. Get over it! Studies have shown that only 10% of your
grandchildren will identify as Jews. If you can't handle the truth
that's your problem not ours. Ironically the ony way to make sure that
your grandchildren are Jews is for your children to marry Jewish.
Wow, the ad says NOTHING about intermarriage! What are some of you
railing against? Did #9 or #20 even WATCH the ad? Do they deny many
Jews lose , deny, opt out of, or, ARE denied their heritage? What
paranoia. Intermarriage is another discussion but it has NOTHING to do
with this ad. But I agree that we have to give some Jewish knowledge to
our own countrymen and change the pityful memlachti (state) school
system and start to instill Jewish Zionist values once again in our
schools. We in Israel should not be lecturing anyone else. We just have
the advantage of mass.
27 | David Columbia, Maryland USA, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
There are two big issues here. The first one is Jewish identity in the
diaspora and the second one is assimilation. Many Jews want to live in
the diaspora. There are many reasons for this including increased
religious freedom eg. to be a Progressive Jew. There is virtually no
respect for Reform Judaism in Israel. The secular non-religious are
treated better, because they do not challenge the Orthodox oligarchy.
With regards to being "anti-intermarriage" my response would be then
don't, but stop attacking those who do. They are welcomed into liberal
Judaism and not treated as outcasts.
28 | Stan Goodman - Israel, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
All the above miss the basic reason for marrying out; there is a
fundamental difference in culture between Israel and the US, Canada,
and Europe. In the minds of the latter, Jewishness is a matter of
religion - Catholic, Protestant, Jew are religious categories, and
religion is exclusively a personal choice. That is the approach of the
general (Christian) population, and thus of most children of Jewish
immigrant great-grandparents. In Israel, Jewishness is ethnic, we are a
people, and thus share the characteristic of solidarity. The Western
approach would be difficult or impossible to change.
29 | Ken, Maryland USA, Tuesday Sep 08, 2009
My son has just begun taking speech and the first thing he is learning
is false arguments like the "straw man" Here is an example-- MASA talks
about "assimilated Jews." But Goldberg talks about intermarraige and
Reform Judaism which MASA never mentions and then says that MASA
implied that assimilated kids' parents intermarraaige was a from of
Genocide. MASA absolutely said nothing about it! Ans sadly, most of the
arguments are see in the comments are based on his false premise.
The reason Carter hates Jewish settlements so passionately is that he
knows that removing Jewish settlements would constitute ethnic
cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria. Only Jews could order the
ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria. So propaganda against
Jewish settlements is the only option Carter and the Arabs have.
At least John Hancock realizes we are on to the multiple psuedonyms
that professional pro-Arab bloggers have started using. You can forget
about pretending to be subtle and just let the wrath and indignation
pour out when you use an obvious psuedonym.
LABEL R USA:
JIMMIE CARTER WE ALL KNOW YOU ARE A COCKSUKER JEW HATER. GO TAKE A GOOD
SHIT AND EAT IT AND CHOKE. i KNOW THE JPOST WONT PRINT THIS BUT I
THOUGHT YOU GUYS AND GALS AT THE JPOST WOULD GET A KICK OUT IT,,LOL