From the Jewish news media:
For US Jewish leaders, the major problems are indifference and assimilation, while the solutions are early engagement and education – about Judaism and Israel.
That is very true.
However, most of the Jews have studied Judaism and demonstrated for Israel since they were teenagers, and it have not made them more united, less indifferent or more engaged. My own experience and numerous discussions with rabbis convinced me that in order to strengthen Jewish unity we have to present Judaism differently. We may rich the true Jewish unity only if the fundamentals of Judaism and Israel are presented in the light of contemporary Jewish life. Unfortunately, most often that is not the case.
Most often. Judaism is presented as a set of principles developed in the course of Jewish history for Jewish life’s conditions in segregated areas where everything outside the segregated areas was hostile and even murderous to the Jews. In the contemporary American life, that is not the case anymore, and Judaism should be discussed as how the historic segregation-based Jewish principles could be transformed to be applicable to the life of Jews as the Chosen in Judeo-Christian Western civilization where the Jews are treated as equals. In order to do this, the rabbis have to initiate a dialogue with ordinary Jews, and that is very difficult for the rabbis since they were trained to teach the canons of their ordination institutions – not to listen and adjust.
Most often, Israel is discussed as an ultimate gathering place for all Jews. However, for the US Jewish majority this is not what they think should be done. Many among the US Jews feel that it is better to strengthen Israel as the Light for the Nations while living in the USA, and do it through strengthening spiritual Judeo-Christian fundamentals of our society and the Bible-guided role of the Jews as the Chosen. Unfortunately, we are involved in something opposite – we are promoting secularism and supporting the ban on Christian religious signs and prayers in public space.
Concerning Judaism, the most important Torah-guided unifying principle should be at the core of Jewish education – we all, Jews and non-Jews, are created different but equal in the image and likeness of God. The leftist and rightists, the liberals and conservatives, the whites and blacks, the Jews and Christians, the males and females … – all are created equal with different roles in an under-construction better world for everybody. However, that is not what most of our rabbis and public leaders were doing during the US presidential campaign – they were encouraging the future president to treat the citizens as groups of equal and unequal and make the “unequal” equal by government orders. That is not the role of a human government to decide who is equal and who is not and regulate it – our Creator creates us equal. There is a danger for the Jews to support the idea of splitting the people in different groups. If that is the case, the split could be justified for the Jews vs. the Non-Jews and that is the spiritual foundation for the anti-Semitism.
In the same Torah-guided way, the Orthodox Jews of all streams, the Reform and Conservative Jews as well as Secular Jews should be considered equal before God and the unity should be searched in different roles of different Jews as the Chosen in making our world a better place for everybody – Jews and non-Jews.
Concerning Israel, the unity should be searched not in imposing on Israel various ideological precepts on how to resolve Israeli-Arab confrontation or on Aliyah to Israel. Rather, the unity should be searched on helping Israel to become “the Light to the Nations” – to be the best in all areas affecting the human life such as science and technology, finance and economy, safety and security, religious and secular.
From the Jewish news media:
After Trump victory, rabbis call for unity and tolerance. Jewish spiritual leaders across US call on Jews to build bridges with their fellow citizens.
That is nice but should be done long ago. Unfortunately, in the course of the campaign many Jewish leaders, both religious and secular, were ruining the bridges with many fellow citizens.