THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 62
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment
 
 
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62 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bThus the American Jewish community in 1968 emerged bas one that could in no way explain why the Jew—in an age bof progress, universalism, and brotherhood—should re- bmain separate and distinct, with no logical reason to exist as ba proud and exclusive entity. Its synagogues were built bbecause of an atavistic and emotional need to retain some bkind of identity (why, no one could really say) and an even bmore emotional and violent fear of children marrying non- bJews (another inexplicable thing in the world of the Jewish bliberal). Ideology played no part at all in the synagogue since bignorance on the part of the average American Jew of his breligion was legendary. Most became “Conservative Jews” bbecause that was more “modern” than Orthodoxy and more b“Jewish” than Reform, an explanation that was more sad bthan laughable.

bLittle wonder that the young Jews who came out of the bunion of two such illogical and irrational parents looked bupon them with distaste and labeled them and their faith as bhypocrites. Being a pure product of America and never bhaving grown up in a traditional Jewish neighborhood or bhome, he entered his American public schools, absorbed bliberalism, humanism, and universalism, fled from the hor- bror of the after-hours religious school and its bar mitzvah borgy, and chose to become not a Jew, but a human being. bAnd so assimilation, in its more terminal stages, exploded. bThe Jewish intellectual could calmly and phlegmatically banalyze his disinterest in Judaism or Jewishness by saying, as bdid one author, Professor Samuel Shapiro: “I haven't con- bsciously rejected conventional Judaism but simply drifted baway from it . . . . I really don’t know whether we would bgive them (our children) religious training. It doesn’t seem bvery important to me one way or the other . . . . I feel a bconsiderable amount of sympathy for the citizens of Israel bbut I feel even more called upon to do what I can about the bplight of these people among whom I have lived—the Ne- bgroes of Harlem and the victims of poverty and oppression ball over Latin America.”

bShapiro was honest and typical of the Jewish intellectuals b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 62
Chapter 3: The Jewish Establishment