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Chief Rabbi of Britain Predicts Resurgence of Jewish Identification

The Chief Rabbi of Britain. Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits. said in a recorded interview today that Judaism is “hard put to respond to the constant search for relevance, especially among our youth.” But he foresaw “a tremendous resurgence” of Jewish identification. “particularly among our young.” and noted that “countless thousands” of young British Jews are practicing their religion “far more than their parents ever did.” He predicted that the “restlessness of society” that produced these “groping and searching youngsters” would soon pass. Dr. Jakobovits was seen on CBS-TV’s “Lamp Unto My Feet” in an interview taped in London. The Chief Rabbi contended that “If there is to be a massive revival it will come from the school rather than from the synagogue.” He noted in that connection the “grave problem” of the shortage in Britain of rabbis, who are finding their “rewards, excitement and sense of fulfillment” in other professions. If “we pay more for them.” he said, they will return, as “eventually. I believe, it’s the demand that creates the supply.” He said he had “little doubt” of the “intense revival and regeneration of Jewish life” as the number of Jews “detached” from their religion is “on the decline” as Israel continues to be the “new focal point” for many of them. He added that the age of “disillusionment” had made the “mysticism” of Hassidism attractive to many Jews, who will become “very sizable in the coming generation.”

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