Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Ad Calls Non-Israeli Jews ‘Lost’

And the Diaspora is just a bit offended

Print Email

The group Masa (the word is Hebrew for “Journey”), which runs study-in-Israel programs for Diaspora Jews, has a new ad running on Israeli TV urging viewers to tell non-Israeli Jews about their organization. If these benighted souls do not visit Israel, you see, they may be “lost” and “assimilated” and perhaps, the ad ever-so-subtly hints, sent somewhere ominous on trains. You can watch it below:

The Forward’s J.J. Goldberg translates the Hebrew as: “More than 50% of young Jews overseas are assimilating and we are losing them. Do you know a young Jew overseas? Call Project Masa, and together we will strengthen the tie to Israel so we won’t lose him. Masa—a year in Israel, a love for a lifetime.” Goldberg hypothesizes—no doubt correctly—that “assimilating” is code for intermarrying, and that the 50 percent figure comes from an infamous 1990 study finding such a rate (later proved to be inflated). And he sensibly observes, “From a practical point of view, the issue in America is no longer how to fight intermarriage. That horse is out of the barn. The question now is how to draw the new Jews to Judaism.”

On top of the ad’s practical idiocy, there is its odious message: that Jews who do not find Israel have disappeared altogether. The spot recalls nothing so much as the old Catholic doctrine (which the Church, to its credit, has repudiated) that good Christians have an obligation to try to convert Jews as an act of mercy. Did we mention that Masa gets half of its budget from the Israeli government?

‘Lost’ In Plain Sight [J.J. Goldberg]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Ad Calls Non-Israeli Jews ‘Lost’

And the Diaspora is just a bit offended

More on Tablet:

‘Buchenwald Boys’ Celebrate 70 Years of Freedom

By Andrew Harris — On the anniversary of the camp’s liberation, a group of Holocaust survivors party in Melbourne