A highly industrialized place like America where everybody is living a fast-paced lifestyle will likely influence anybody, even the most spiritual people on earth.
It is no wonder why immigrants are expected to adapt than to hold on to their traditions. The best example is the American Jews.
Let’s take a look at the impact of American culture to the Jews living in America.
Jews are always associated with Judaism as this is their faith just like Islam to Muslims. However, these days, more and more Jews are identifying themselves as atheist.
According to a survey done by Pew Research Center, one in five Jews describes themselves as non-religious or doesn’t have any religion at all.
Jew immigrants have brought their traditions and culture together. However, today’s generation today relies on educational institutions to teach history to their children. This is why it is no surprise when religion and other traditional practices are changed, if not entirely gone. To remedy this, parents frequently go on kosher tours and Jewish themed holidays to at least give their kids a glimpse of their custom.
But even so, they’re still proud of the Jewish descendants. It’s just that they’re living in a contemporary world where often than not, certain practices are no longer implemented.
Death and Morality
But one can’t experience real happiness if they can’t experience sadness and mourning.
In Irving Greenberg’s book Jewish Valves And The Shifting American Ethic, he discusses how American civilization widely accepts happiness in the sense that they almost deny the existence of death.
“He looks like he is still alive.” Or”He’s settled okay.” — Those phrases alone manifest the way American culture denies death and mourning. There is no embalming and cremation as they believe that the body should go back to the ground where they belong just the way they are. Additionally, the burial has to be carried out as soon as possible.
But American Jews nowadays are gradually adapting to the American method of mourning and even do cremation as well.
Traditionally, intermarriage between Gentiles and Jews was not allowed. However, following the migration to America, intermarriage was slowly accepted.
Now, intermarriage is now widely recognized in Jewish society. Rabbis and other Jewish scholars are afraid that the tolerance of intermarriage may lead to the extinction of their American-Jewish community.
As stated previously, most Jews now claim to be non-religious. The majority of the atheist Jews are involved an intermarriage and interfaith marriage.
In a poll done by Pew Research Center, 37% of intermarried Jews stated that they are not exposing their children to Jewish traditions in any respect.
No one can tell if intermarriage has an impact of lessening the religious Jews in America, but the numbers are evidence that it can be the reason after all.
That is why Rabbis and Jewish parents want their children to be exposed to their Jewish roots. One great way is via celebrating holidays and vacations through kosher touring. With this, Jewish kids will have the chance to participate in interactive Jewish programs and be exposed to their own heritage.