The Charedi Community

“The two dominant strands in the Jewish world today are fighting the battles of the past, not those of the future. Assimilation made sense in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in a Jewish world traumatised by antisemitism. It makes no sense at all today, either in Israel or in the multicultural democracies of the West. In the United States, where outmarriage continues at the rate of one-in-two, Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam has shown that Jews are the group more respected and admired than any other. Segregation made immense sense after the Holocaust, when the heartlands of tradition in Eastern Europe had been almost entirely obliterated. But today, by a miracle of rebirth, the Haredi community is stronger than it was before the start of the Second World War. It has won the battle. We are in its debt. By sheer commitment and dedication it has brought the worlds of Jewish learning and practice back to life. Now is the time to turn outward and share its energies with the rest of the Jewish world.”

A Judaism Engaged with the World, pp. 20-21