North American Jews and Israelis are growing steadily further apart. In North America, Israel has shifted from being a source of pride that all Jews rally around, to a source of controversy that is dividing Jewish organizations and communities. Many Israelis fail to acknowledge that the traditional identification of North American Jews with Israel is eroding rapidly, along with their moral, political and financial support. Moreover, many Israelis have a limited interest in the current challenges facing North American Jewry, or in their wellbeing.
The causes that young North American Jews are willing to rally around are also changing. The ME generation’s interests have shifted away from the Jewish collective towards idiosyncratic or cosmopolitan causes. Within less than a decade, community and civic leaders who have had little or no exposure to the power of the global Jewish collective will emerge on both sides of the ocean.
There is thus a need to raise the consciousness of emerging community leaders to the challenges and opportunities facing both American Jewry and Israeli society, to the potential power of Jews acting together as a collective, and to their role and responsibility in securing a common Jewish future.