A prominent Isreali-American philanthropist named Adam Milstein writes in the Jerusalem Post how Isreali-Americans such as himself should look to American Jewry. He is specifically referring to how American Jewry has managed to thrive culturally, religiously and economically in the United States. Below are some of the key points Adam Milstein argues that Isreali-Americans should make as they adapt to life in America.
Many Isreali-Americans take their Jewishness for granted. Adam Milstein reveals that in their home country of Isreal, Isreali-Americans did not have to worry about preserving Jewish religion or culture. Money was provided for synagogues and cultural events. The Jewish holidays are official holidays.
In the United States, there is an entirely different approach states Milstein. Synagogues and religious institutions must be funded privately. Jewish charity groups must be supported by philanthropists such as himself. The state does not provide money to these organizations.
The lack of understanding of these facts and the hands-off approach has left the Isreali-American community isolated and shrinking away from their Jewish identity and culture. Fortunately, Jewish Isreali-American leaders like Adam Milstein were not just going to sit idly by and watch their culture and identity slip away. They took action to create a community and a framework for Jewish life.
Mr. Milstein and a bunch of other Jewish leaders created the Isreali-American Council also known as IAC. The group was dedicated to creating and supporting the very things that Isreali-Americans were used to being made and supported by the government back home in Israel. Milstein’s Isreali-American Council helped launch synagogues that would engage the Isreali-American community. Community organizations and gatherings were established and promoted. The decline and stagnation of the Isreali-American population were stopped.
It is this approach that Adam Milstein and other Isreali-Americans have taken from their American Jewry counterparts. The American Jews have created a thriving and lasting Jewish community. Without private support and a strong urge to promote these values, the Jewish community in America would quickly cease to exist in the larger American society. Jewish camps, community organizations, places of worship and schools must all be funded, maintained and supported if they are to continue existing in the country. In the United States, the government won’t maintain a Jewish community presence. The American Jews have had to do it themselves. That is the key takeaway for Isreali-Americans from American Jewry. His facebook page