Strength in numbers

Strength in numbers

The national media may be paying lip-service to it, but more militant anti-Israel demonstrations are breaking out, not just in Europe, but across this country as well. The convenient excuse being “sold” by the global mainstream media is that Hamas has lost an order-of-magnitude more civilians at the hands of Israel than Israel lost at the hands of Hamas.

The reason I say that it is a convenient excuse is based on a recent FBI report that says that Jewish people account for an alarming 62 percent of victims of all religious hate crimes in the United States. This data has been accumulated over several years and has nothing to do with the recent events in the Middle East.

One of the reasons these anti-Semitic acts go unreported, and in some cases reported without disdain, is because we Jewish people have become complacent. Instead of coming together as Jews, we stay home and keep quiet. Our college-age students are hiding their Jewishness by openly marching with those who hate Israel.

While all this is going on, there is a rapidly growing number of Jewish people who are unaffiliated from synagogues and Jewish organizations. Doing this is not only wrong, it severely reduces the ability of organizations to band together to position the Jewish people as an important force that needs to be taken seriously.

We have only a few weeks until the High Holy Days. I encourage every Jew to join a Jewish congregation; give to organizations that represent Jewish interests; and work hard to encourage other Jews to do the same. The reality is, this is not just a nice thing to do; it is a strategic imperative that is required to help save the Jewish people today and well into the future.

Rabbi Eli B. Perlman
Congregation Beit Shalom

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