Young People Must Know Their Faith


It is clear from the articles published in last week’s edition of The Jewish Week that American Jews are in trouble.

The column that reported on the debate at the Park Avenue Synagogue devoted to the topic of the Jewish future — “Jewish Life Doomed? Flourishing? Take Your Pick” (Between the Lines editor’s column) — concludes with each of the participants admitting that he is a “non-believer.” Changing circumstances require religious adaptation, but the very words of the debaters should lead one to question the wisdom and advice of men who fail to see Judaism, our faith, as essential to our future survival.

The opinion piece, “Why Canary Mission Defeats Its Pro-Israel Goals,” is even more disturbing. The article is written by a student who condemns the activities of the group of Jewish students calling itself the Canary Mission. Canaries were used in the coal mines to indicate the threatening disappearance of oxygen. The Canary group, which publicly reveals names and acts of campus anti-Semites, deserves to be complimented. Moshe Yair Leb Klein, the author of this article, condemns the Canary group. He states, “those who want to genuinely support Jewish students on campus should oppose, if not help shut down Canary Mission. There is undoubtedly anti-Semitism on campus but the solution to extremism and bigotry is humanizing each other and not alienating one another. Only through constructive dialogue and human interaction can we make the college campus a more welcoming place for Jews, and the first step is to promote bridge building rather than hostility.”

This is pathetic. He should go to an assemblage where an Israeli ambassador plans to address the crowd and is hooted down by pre-planned disrupters until he must walk off the stage. Jewish kids on campus are being confronted by other young people who are unashamed to call for the destruction of our people. It is not a game. Our enemies know exactly what they want. Jewish kids become targets because most are unprepared or unwilling to fight back. Perhaps they have never been taught how to fight back.

Jewish survival depends upon our young people knowing their faith, their history, their martyrdom and having the courage to stand up and defend themselves and their people.