Though I’m not a fan of the term “Israeliness” because it feels trite; I do believe Israeli culture and Hebrew language can be a significant key to raising Jewish Americans with an Israeli lens that bridges and connects us for years to come.
This article does a great job of arguing “Israeliness” may be a solution to combat apathy towards organized Jewish life in the Diaspora and the challenges of assimilation. Some of my favorite quotes from within:
Oblivion knocks. The two obvious alternatives—aliya and Orthodoxy—require so radical a change in one’s lifestyle that they’re non-starters for most American Jews. If those were the only options, most would choose oblivion.
On Tikkun Olam and activism as replacing Jewish identity building: a Jewish identity built on activism has begun to feel like flooring it on the freeway when you’re almost out of gas.
On the importance of learning Modern Hebrew: Without fluency in Hebrew, the engagement with Israeliness will always be a dilution and distortion based on intermediaries.
Read the full article here: http://www.thetower.org/article/israeli-identity-and-the-future-of-american-jewry/