Jewish Identity and Bagels in America

“When I was last in America.. my eye was caught by a story on the front page of the New York Times. It was headed ‘The Assimilating Bagel’, and the tale it told was this. A bagel was once a hard, round roll with a large hole in the centre. It was a Jewish delicacy which you ate with cream cheese or smoked salmon and temporarily forgot the troubles of the world. But according to the New York Times the bagel was subtly changing. Its crust was getting softer. The hole was getting smaller. Little by little, the bagel was assimilating into a bun. For ‘bagel’ read ‘Jewry’ and the metaphor is clear. Jewish identity in America is vanishing with frightening, unprecedented speed.”

Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren?, p. 22