Birthright Israel
Birthright Israel participants waving Israeli flags. Photo by Kobi Gideon
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Young American Jews have closer ties to Israel than ever before, while Israelis who have moved to the United States are raising the Jewish consciousness of all Jews in the New World.

Such upbeat conclusions may run counter to more prevalent pessimistic pronouncements, but they are bolstered by three new research studies.

Results of these studies were presented by American academicians at the recent annual conference of the Association for Israel Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The meeting brought together some 300 scholars who participated in 80 panel discussions centering on Israel’s international relations, history, politics, law, economics, literature, film and other visual arts.

Matthew Boxer, a senior research associate at Brandeis University, set the hopeful tone.

“Despite the high rate of intermarriage, despite mismatches between liberal young American Jews and a more right-wing Israel government, despite the inadequacy of the Jewish education system, we are providing young American Jews with more and more opportunities to develop a personal connection with Israel,” Boxer said.

Read more at JewishJournal.com.