he theme of this week’s Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly is “we need to talk,” focusing on the divisions between Israeli and US Jews. There has been a lot of talk about the growing divide between the groups in recent years and this conference was meant to put it in the spotlight.
The marketing materials released before the GA listed statistics on the political differences between the two groups. At the GA, however, there were signs about lifestyle differences: Israelis, for example, are far more likely to keepkosher (63%) than American Jews (22%), and are far less likely to intermarry (2%) when compared to Americans (44%).
That says a lot about where these two groups come from. The difference between living in a Jewish country, and being part of a Jewish minority in another country is, in many ways, the root of the difference between the two sides here – even if US Jews may be the most successful and best-integrated Diaspora community in history. Continue reading