US Ambassador Friedman: Jewish illiteracy is greatest threat to diaspora

Being “fluent in Judaism” is “an imperative for the future of the Jewish people, especially outside the State of Israel,” said Friedman, who is an Orthodox Jew.

By Marcy Oster, JTA MAY 29, 2020 05:36

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman looks on as he speaks during a briefing at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Jerusalem February 9, 2020. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman looks on as he speaks during a briefing at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in Jerusalem February 9, 2020.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told a virtual conference that Jewish illiteracy is the greatest threat to Diaspora Jewry.

“The Jewish state, while not without issues, is growing: both religious and secular institutions are thriving, basic Jewish education is available to all and there is little risk of assimilation. The same cannot be said for the Diaspora,” Friedman told Haaretz’s “Judaism, Israel and Diaspora conference,” which took place on Wednesday.

Being “fluent in Judaism” is “an imperative for the future of the Jewish people, especially outside the State of Israel,” said Friedman, who is an Orthodox Jew.

“Regardless of how we believe or worship or observe our Judaism, what makes that practice uniquely Jewish and likely to continue and grow is our ability to place ourselves on an unbroken chain beginning in ancient times, that remains not just relevant – but even more critical today than ever before, as we struggle to find meaning in a complicated world,” the ambassador added.

Friedman said that doing things that are “morally just or helpful to others” is not enough because “Let’s face it: Jews do not have a monopoly on acts of kindness, charity or social justice.”

Friedman has criticized liberal Jews in the past. In a June 2016 op-ed on the website of Israel National News, also known as Arutz-7, a right-wing media outlet, Friedman wrote of J Street supporters: “They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas – it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.”

May 30, 2020 | 1 Comment » | 320 views

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. Exactly! American Jews think Social Justice is all there is to Judaism and morph that into Leftism and being Democrats ( or worse, in the case of Bernie Sanders.). There’s little allegiance to the idea of survival of the Jewish people with Leftism being the new religion. The only one these people identify as “Jewish” is George Soros who very clearly is NOT and acts to the detriment of the Jewish people and Israel.

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