One of the issues of concern to those in the Jewish world of late, has been the growing divide between Jews in Israel and Jews in America. There are about 6.5 million Jews in Israel and 5.3 million Jews in the US – as such these represent the two largest Jewish communities in the world. American Jews are predominantly secular, tend to intermarry, disaffiliate and vote Democrat. Israeli Jews are lead by a right wing government whose leader is practically a bought and paid for asset of the Republican party. In Israel, Trump is uniquely popular and all indications are that the next government will be even more right wing than the last. And yet, the relationship between these two communities remains almost symbiotic. American Jews channel great influence on behalf of Israel, and Israel represents the most dynamic element of Jewish evolution. Or something.
The point is that despite Birthright Israel trips and a large presence of Israelis in the US and American Jews in Israel, the fact remain that this gaping chasm exists, particularly in Israel, because Israelis don’t really know what American Jews are all about.
To help bridge this gap, Kan, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation sent Oriel Danielson to see what the confluence of American, and Jewish, looks like. And what does it look like? A Jewish Kosher Barbecue professional, a Jewish Bluegrass band, a Jewish Motorcycle gang… and more in a 5-part series that is sure to inform and entertain. The episodes I’ve seen so far are a hoot and hopefully Kan will see fit to send Danielson in search of more American Jews:
“I’m curious about more American pop culture and how young Jewish people in America who are not religious practice and keep their Jewish identity … That’s the next step.”
That’s definitely something I’d love to see!