need time in the other group's world - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Michelle S
    • 10.07.13 | 13:24 (IDT)

    I really feel that the disconnect between Israel and the diaspora has to do with the great difference in experience in what it means to be Jewish in each setting, compounded by which branch of Judaism one belongs to. There aren't enough youth of each branch or location's world spending longer periods of time in the other, to have a cross-cultural understanding of the importance, values, and priorities of the other groups. As a child, I can remember how important Israel's survival was to those who taught me... now the biggest role Israel plays in this American Reform Jewish life is the joy of being the go-to person for the Gentiles around me every time something happens in Israel, for me to clarify and/or justify. For me, with the memory of the instruction I received directly from the veterans (civilian and otherwise) of WWII, I slog along and do my best. For the next generations that do not have that direct experience, but only twice-, thrice- or more, removed anecdotes and historical 'this happened' learning, why put up with the hassle? They need direct experience of the value of Israel.... and Israeli youth need to experience places where the concerns and expectations they live with every day are very different... ESPECIALLY those living on the Orthodox path. There should be sort of an Amish tradition of sending them forth into the wide world outside their narrow confines to experience the difference between the reality they've had indoctrinated into them, and the reality most of the rest of the world is living with.

    from the article: Israel is taking American Jews for granted
    First published 10:45 08.07.13 | Last updated 19:45 07.07.13
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