I live on the island of Maui in Hawaii. There may be up to 5,000 Jews supposedly living here at the peak season, but one would never know it. Many are BuJews, who worship Buddhism, and other alternative G-ds, and have other beliefs. Almost all the marriages are between non-Jews and Jews, few of whom attend the local synagogue, where there is an Orthodox rabbi. Sadly, the number of Jews who attend services on any given Sabbath is very small, yet, they come out of the woodwork on the High Holy Days, but, still the vast majority have little or no connection to the Jewish community or to Judaism, which is their privilege. A Jewish surname guarantees nothing Jewish, as many have never even been near a ssynagogue and have vague notions about Judaism. Others try to incorporate alternative beliefs with Jewish practices, and then you have the strangest, the Jews for Jesus, who the local rabbi graciously allows them to attend the local shul. A real mish mash and certainly no place to raise a Jewish child. I, too have been to Iceland several times, and enjoyed it, although the Israelis visiting there have alienated everyone, as they tend to do when they travel. I found the article a bit of a joke, profiling a community that is non-existent. The Chabad rep here tries, without much success to garner contributions and influence, as he will not even attend the local synagogue, as it allows women and men to sit together! Not Jewish enough I guess. It reminds me about the recent stories about the last 2 Jews in Afghanistan, ( one has sinced passed away), who hated one other, as each would routinely turn the other in to the local Taliban representative, to their amusement. I was in Iraq for three years and spent a year in Afghanistan, fascinated by these 'fossils' of Jewish life. Sadly, after seeing the numerous signs posted outside B&Bs in India, Nepal, Laos, and Thailand, forbidding and discouraging Israeli guests, the distinction between Jew and Israeli is lost. I have heard my share of horrific, stories about Israeli backpackers as I would not have believed them, if I had not witnessed them myself. Talk about a schande! No wonder they are so unpopular. Sorry, as it is embarrassing, but it is true.The article was interesting as it is true, hardly vibrant or dynamic. Another lost colony of Jews.
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from the article: Iceland’s few Jews grapple with faith