New York City earthquake – what does it mean for the Jews?


A couple of hours ago, as anyone with proprioreception and a Twitter account knows, an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude struck the East Coast. While technically the epicenter of the quake was in Richmond, Virginia, many miles from New York City, we did feel the tremors here for a good 15 seconds. And since New York is the center of the universe and international Jewry (Israel is cute for trying to take the top spot), I think we should make this earthquake our own and consider its implications for East Coast Jews:



  1. Expect a large migration of Jews to the West Coast: since the only thing holding back many Jews from moving to the sunnier, more temperate climes of Southern California was the possibility of sudden earth movements (well, that and mudslides and debilitating traffic), it is projected that many thousands will move to the other side of the country since New York is clearly not any safer. This will allow many a below average height Jewish male to pursue his dream of becoming the next Seth Rogen. The only downside – parents are less likely to move to Florida upon retirement in pursuit of better weather, forcing many young couples to live within driving distance of their relations.
  2. Engagement: for the last decade or so, one of the watchwords of the Jewish nonprofit industrial complex not concerned with the problems of the 3rd world, the environment or Israel has been “engagement,” especially when it comes to the young, unaffiliated Jews. (We know you’re out there even if we know nothing about you.) Expect several service learning trips to D.C. to straighten out hanging paintings and photos, reshelve books and pick up chairs. This has the added bonus of potentially resulting in many marriages and children.
  3. Which brings us to our favorite word, continuity: the earthquake, which lasted mere seconds, has the potential to create a lasting impact. With our lives flashing before our eyes and our cell phones, some of us might’ve reached out to the nearest warm body. Others might’ve reached for a checkbook to make a donation to the Federation. And still others might’ve sat down to write the next great Jewish American novel about our experiences, which will undoubtedly win a flurry of Jewish book awards.

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