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November 12, 2013 4:50 pm

Jewish Federation and Israeli Leaders Debate Jewish Identity Growth Strategies at Conference

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Former Israeli minister and political prisoner, Natan Sharansky. Photo: Wiki Commons.

JNS.orgJewish leaders convening at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly (GA) in Jerusalem this week debated the recent Pew Research Center survey that showed increasing assimilation among American Jews.

“What we’ve seen is a tremendous amount of Jewish organizations doing very good things that are essentially not leading to the outcomes that we would all like,” JFNA Chairman Michael Siegal told The Jerusalem Post.

Member of Knesset Nachman Shai (Kadima), a former director of the Israel office of JFNA, told JNS.org that the Pew survey is indicative of “a continuing steady change in attitude that indicates [Americans Jews and Israelis are] in two worlds.”

Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, told JNS.org at a pre-GA event hosted by the Ruderman Family Foundation that the Israeli government should take more responsibility for strengthening Jewish identity. To do that, Israeli lawmakers “must understand the uniqueness of the American Jewish community, its problems, and its challenges,” he said.

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