Jewish Demographics

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Some Facts to Ponder

There are about 5.5 million American adults who may be viewed as Jewish either because of their religion or because they were raised as Jewish. This was also true in 1990 when the American population was smaller than it is now.

Only 2.8 million, or 51 percent, of Jewish Americans say that their religion is Jewish.   In 1990, 58 percent were of the Jewish faith.

1.4 million adults who were raised as Jewish are now members of a different religion. This is more than double the number as of 1990. This came about because the children of intermarried couples generally opt to become non-Jews. At this time 54% of Jewish children are being raised in another religion.

Now 33% of Jews are married to non-Jews. In 1990 it was 28%. Newlyweds intermarry at the rate of 52%. In 1965 only 10% of Jews married non-Jews.

Forty two percent of Jews who say that Judaism is their religion call themselves secular. Fourteen percent of Jews are atheists. Only four percent of non-Jewish Americans are atheists.

Two million American Jews live in households identified as non-Jewish.

60% of Jews below the age of 40 live in non-Jewish households. 20% of Jews over 60 live in households identified as non-Jewish.

While the replacement level of any population must be at least 2.1 children per couple, American Jews have a birth rate of only 1.4 children per couple.

In 1962  540,000 Jewish children attended afternoon–weekend Jewish schools. At that time 60,000 were enrolled in Jewish day schools. Now 140,000 attend day schools, but only 240,000 attend afternoon-weekend Jewish schools. Net loss, 220,000 Jewish children.

Only 36% of Jewish homes light the Shabbat candles. Only 11% of those who were born Jewish or became Jewish by choice attend the Beth Hatefillah (synagogue) each week.

All of this and more contributes mightily to the decimation of Judaism and the Jewish people. In fact, any reasonable person, even if not competent in statistics, will agree that the present trend will cause the disappearance of American Judaism within two more generations or fifty years.

Now let us take a look at the European Jewish community.  There are about 2.5 million Jews in Europe scattered among the European continent. The largest European Jewish community of 600,000  is now in France. There are 300,000 Jews in Britain and 500,000 each in Russia and the Ukraine. The other European countries have very few Jews. There too, the self imposed decimation of the Jewish people proceeds for the same reasons and with the same speed as here. However, in Europe we find that the ancient hatred of Jews continues as always and that the physical safety of that Jewish community is once more in question.

Here are some examples of what is going on in Europe now. In Italy, a Catholic bishop who lives in the Vatican thanks G’d for the Moslem Arab murderers who blow up Jews in Israel.

In France, a country which uses the motto Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, synagogogues are torched, Jews are terrorized in the streets and cemeteries vandalized.

The Swedish Nobel Prize committee suggested that the Nobel Peace Prize be withdrawn from Shimon Peres but not from the mass murderer Arafat. In Denmark, the Netherlands and of course Germany, Arafat is feted as a hero and children wear the Arab kafiyah (old underwear) on their heads.

All over Europe the media denounce Jews at every occasion and some Europeans are reviving the old Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

In the forefront of all that hate are the so-called “left” political parties. Traditionally, the “left” was identified with “liberal” European politics. The “liberals” were seated on the left side of the speaker in the French parliament and the conservatives on the right side. Today, the “left” are Jew baiters, hate mongers and march to the tune of the old NATIONAL SOCIALIST GERMAN WORKERS PARTY, in German Die Nationalisozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NAZI.

Who then are our friends? Our friends are conservative Christians. These are the same people Jews generally denounce. We keep playing the “liberals” when the “liberals” from the main line churches to the socialist party are our deadliest enemies. Wake up, Jews. Take a look at Christian broadcasting. Listen to Rush Limbaugh. Never mind their “agenda”. These people want us to survive and the liberals seek another Holocaust.

Now all of this may seem so pessimistic that a rational, reasonable person may conclude that there will be no Jews left in the world once all of these haters and their Arab murder gangs get together and finish us off once and for all.

Yet, this is far from the truth. We will survive all our enemies and even ourselves and our stupidity. We have always survived. We are an eternal people. Our mission is to serve as “a light unto the Nations” and to keep teaching Torah to the world. That message is despised by the haters and the Jew baiters. Therefore they hate the messenger as well. Yet, we will not give up. We will continue. How? Do one thing for the Jewish people. Come to the synagogue of your choice this Friday or Saturday. We will celebrate Shavuoth this weekend. That Holy Day commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai. Be there. Participate. Stand at Sinai with all the generations of Israel. Be happy you are a Jew. Face the haters by attending the reading of the Torah and sing with us: Aytz Hayim Hee - It (the Torah) is a Tree of Life and the Supporters thereof are Happy.  Never mind CNN and other haters. Never mind the killers and their brutality. Be a Jew. Stand up for Israel. Come to “shul”; light candles on Friday night; eat only kosher food; celebrate all the Holy Days; send your children to a Jewish day school; buy Israel bonds; join the Zionist Organization of American; write to your congressman and you alone, just you, one single person, will save the Jewish people because justice and righteousness are not the product of popular vote but the foundation on which all civilization is founded and that can be supported by only one person and still win. Believe me. Try it and be happy. We shall overcome.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Stigma:  How We Treat Outsiders.

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