[Marxism] Fewer Jews, more money

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jun 24 10:46:07 MDT 2004


Haaretz, Thu., June 24, 2004
Fewer Jews, more money

By Yair Sheleg

A total of 92 percent of the world's Jews live in the wealthiest fifth 
of the world's population, according to a report prepared by the Jewish 
Agency's Institute for Jewish People Policy Planning research group. The 
first of its kind, the report examines the condition of the Jewish 
people in the year 2004.

The abstract released this week is a mere summary of the complete 
600-page report to be published in the fall. Many of the study's 
findings are not outlined in the abstract, but the first page reveals a 
series of interesting trends.

Emigration of Jews from Arab countries in the `50s and from the former 
Soviet Union in the `90s has contributed to changing distribution 
patterns in the world population. The quality of life of Jews in the 
world has definitely benefited from residence in wealthy nations, but 
Jewish demographics have suffered. According to the report, the world 
population grew by 70 percent between the years 1970-2003. (Most of this 
growth, of course, was in poorer nations.) The Jewish population, 
however, grew by only 2 percent.

The report presents intermarriage statistics in various nations as well. 
The Jewish communities of Russia and Ukraine lead in this area with 80 
percent intermarriage in both countries. The German and Hungarian 
communities follow with 60 percent intermarriage. Jews in the United 
States intermarry at a rate of 54 percent. Jews from France, Britain, 
and Argentina follow with 45 percent. Canadian Jews intermarry at a rate 
of 35 percent. Closing the list are Australia (22 percent), South Africa 
(20 percent), and Mexico (10 percent). In Israel, the rate of 
intermarriage was only 5 percent - most intermarried families came from 
the former Soviet Union.

The report found a clear, inverse relationship between attendance at 
Jewish day schools, and intermarriage: intermarriage drops with 
increased enrollment of children in Jewish educational facilities on a 
daily basis - and not as part of an extra-curricular program. Therefore, 
the countries which lead the world in Jewish education appeared at the 
bottom of the intermarriage list. In Israel, 97 percent of [Jewish] 
children are enrolled in a Jewish school. In South Africa and Mexico, 85 
percent of Jewish children attend Jewish schools, in Britain 67 percent, 
in Australia 65 percent, in Argentina 60 percent, in Canada 55 percent, 
and in the U.S. 29 percent. In Russia and Ukraine, only 15 percent of 
Jewish children attend Jewish schools.

Most of the published report is devoted to analyzing statistical trends 
and making recommendations. In this analysis, the report concludes that 
the most critical and pressing issue facing the entire Jewish world is 
the formulation of policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
The report refers to the conflict's importance to the entire Jewish 
community by saying, "The conflict threatens Israel's welfare; it is 
used in the international arena to delegimitize the very concept of 
Jewish sovereignity; and it is used as a tool to attack Israel's Jewish 
supporters."

full: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/442658.html

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