Assimilation Creeping Through

6 years ago Leighest 0

By Risa Mond

Just last month, USY (United Synagogue Youth), a conservative Jewish youth group lifted its rule hindering executive board members from dating non-Jews.

Originally the standard stated, “It is expected that leaders of the organization will refrain from relationships which can be construed as interdating.”

The amendment now states, “The Officers will strive to model healthy Jewish dating choices. These include recognizing the importance of dating within the Jewish community and treating each person with the recognition that they were created Betzelem Elohim (in the image of God).”

Some teens were never a fan of this regulation, thinking they shouldn’t be forced to do anything because of a position they hold.

In my opinion, the members holding executive board positions are prominent leaders in the Jewish community, and they need to be held to higher standards. Leaders must practice what they preach, and if they’re preaching for fellow members to hold to Jewish values, a big aspect is dating Jewish.

What does understanding that “everyone is created in the image of G-d” have to do with dating Jewish? It is a bit confusing. This is digressing the support of Jew-Jew dating, an easily subjective topic especially for one who lacks Halachic knowledge.

In lifting this rule, USY is compromising its commitment to perpetuate the Jewish nation; therefore, condoning the continuation of assimilation. It is our responsibility as Jewish teens in modern times to continue the customs and rituals that have been passed on since sanai.

Recently, teens have been exhibiting a weak affiliation with Judaism. There is an ever growing, unavoidable burden of becoming less religious. We often think just because we aren’t “orthodox” means we don’t have to observe mitzvot. This is not true. No matter what observancy you identify with, it should not affect your will to keep the Jewish tradition alive and well.

Since the Holocaust, we have lost six million Jews due to assimilation. Six million. Assimilation has become a second Holocaust. We can not stand idly by; it is up to us to preach and practice Jewish ethics. That begins with continuing to only date people from the Jewish religion, to keep our traditions, our ideas, and our people alive.