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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

As we enter the Jewish calendar year of 5778, we take a long, collective breath to pause and reflect on the year that has just flown before our very eyes. As the sands of time feverishly rush to the proverbial finish line at an uncomfortably accelerated pace; we watch our personal lives and the world around us experience colossal and hitherto never dreamt of transformations.

As internationally renowned columnist and political analyst Caroline Glick has recently written, transformations and spiritual upheavals are taking place within the Jewish world both in Israel and the diaspora.  

She writes:  “According to the Pew Research Center’s 2013 study of American Jewry, nearly 60% of American Jews intermarry. Based on the Pew data, the Jewish People Policy Institute published a report in June that noted that not only are 60% of American Jews who get married marrying non-Jews, only half of American Jews are getting married at all. And among those who are getting married, less than a third are raising their children as Jewish in some way.”

Moreover, she writes, in 2013, 32% of American Jews under 30 said that they were not Jews by religion. Today the proportion of Jews under 30 who say they have no relation to the Jewish faith has ballooned to 47%. 

But there is a bright lining to an otherwise dark cloud.

Ms. Glick writes: “As the number of Reform and Conservative Jews is contracting, the number of American Jews who associate with the Orthodox movement is growing. Between 2013 and 2017, the proportion of young American Jews who identify as Orthodox grew from 10% to 15%. More and more American Jews are finding their spiritual home with Chabad. Today there are more Chabad houses in the US than Reform synagogues.”

It is clear that today’s Jewish youth are exhibiting a wholesale rejection of the “religion of convenience” that their parents crafted for themselves decades ago. It was a desperate modality aimed at retaining a modicum of pseudo-religious practice while simultaneously championing the assimilationist call to arms. And now, their progeny, for the most part, want nothing to do with a religion that they view as a fraud; as feckless; devoid of any authentic meaning and purpose.

Despite the fact that the previous generation has taken Judaism and reformed it and conserved it to death, the pintele yid is alive in every Jew.  Today’s youth are gravitating back to the Judaism of their zeides and bubbes; the authentic Judaism that asks that the Jew rise above his or her own selfish hedonistic pleasures and bend their collective necks to the yoke of heaven and proudly acknowledge Hashem as king of the world and master of the universe. To raise high the banner of a true Torah life predicated on commandments.  May this trend continue and may we be zoche to see Moshiach Tzidkenu in our days.