The Denominational Shift

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


The End of American Judaism

There are a number of objective and scholarly reviews of the American Jewish community that lead us to the conclusion that the American Jewish community will cease to exist within thirty years.

This conclusion appears reasonable, as a large number of Jews tell researchers that they are agnostics or atheists but consider themselves Jews because they eat Jewish food, or they are ethical people, or that they have a sense of humor.

These beliefs assert that there is no difference between Jews and all other Americans, who are also ethical people, have a sense of humor, and eat Jewish food. In fact, kosher food is selling mainly to people who are not Jewish, as the kosher food industry earns billions by selling to Christians and others.

Jews are also the most likely nonbelievers who claim that Shem Yisborach does not exist and that the universe is self-created, as Professor John Dewey taught at Columbia and the U of Chicago. How it is possible for the universe to be self-created is never explained. Consider that we humans are part of the universe. If it is self-created, then we too must be self created and have no mother and no father.

Many Jews with some scientific schooling claim that they believe only what they can see. Since Shem Yisborach is not visible, the agnostic atheists reject His existence. Yet, no one refutes that Beethoven existed, although he is not visible now despite the great music this deaf man left behind. The Jewish community is not only supporting agnostic (from Greek gnosis, meaning knowledge)  views; they are also heavily intermarried to non-Jews, leading to the conclusion that the grandchildren of these atheists will not be Jewish. Twenty-nine percent of Jews married during the past decade married a non-Jewish spouse who claimed to be converted. Another 21% married someone who did not convert. This group of 50% is a good deal larger among the younger American Jews, reaching 74% among those less than 35 years of age.  This high intermarriage rate alone can lead to our end in America, as does failure to achieve a Jewish education.

There are three kinds of Jewish schools in this country. There are Sunday schools, which are mostly found among Reform congregations. These schools have no effect on the survival of Judaism, as they cannot teach much once a week. The same is true of Conservative congregations. They too teach little about Judaism and reject all religion after becoming Bar Mitzvah. Afternoon schools are also a failure. Children who attend afternoon Jewish schools are far too tired to learn much in afternoon schools. Therefore only day schools can instill pride in Judaism to their students.

All of this means that we must rely on the Chassidic community to rescue American Jews from  self destruction. That effort is now in progress. Chassidic Judaism, the real Judaism, is gaining more and more adherents as American Jews abandon the pseudo Judaism of the majority and rediscover their roots among those who have followed the Baal Shem Tov and the Rebbe Scheerson, who are succeeding where all others failed because they are real, rest on the teachings of our fathers, adhere to the Torah and Jewish Law, teach their children the greatness of Judaism, and trust in Shem Yisborach, who will never abandon us.

Shalom u'vracha.

  Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including The American Jewish Community in the 20th and 21st Century (2021).

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