The demographics are but a system of a broader problem. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Raymond in DC
    • 13.11.11 | 22:42 (IST)

    By some estimates, Jews in the late Second Temple period peaked at some 6-8 million - almost 1 in 10 in the Roman Empire. Those numbers collapsed after the revolts against Rome, especially after the Bar Kochba rebellion. It took another 17 centuries for the numbers to recover. But we've still not recovered to pre-World War II numbers (17-18 million), as we've stagnated since then in the 12-14 million range. (In contrast, the Palestinians claim to number as many as 11 million - remarkable for a people that didn't exist as such 50 years ago, while we've existed as a people for well over 3,000 years!) Overwhelmingly secular and liberal, Western Jews tend to have small families, and intermarriage and assimilation are not inconsequential in dragging the numbers down. Yolkit is right in pointing out that many do not see in Jewish tradition the values and inspirations that might keep them connected. They turn instead to liberal causes as their "religion". (Curious that, according to a recent report, some 30% of press releases from ADL, established to defend Jews, focuses on social issues.) Yolkut fails to note that both the Reform and Conservative communities have failed to inspire their own members, as confirmed by their own declining (and aging) numbers.

    from the article: The problem with worrying about 'Jewish Continuity'
    First published 09:01 13.11.11 | Last updated 09:01 13.11.11
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