Are Young American Jews Selfish?

Ari Hart, a rabbinics student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, writes in the Jerusalem Post:

In his recent column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine ("The I’s have it," October 16), Daniel Gordis informs us that out of all the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish world today, this is the real crisis: America’s "unfettered individualism" is corrupting the minds and souls of young American Jews, leading them to abandon Israel.

To try to prove this epidemic of selfishness and individualism, Gordis cites several examples of young American Jews, challenged by their relationship to the State of Israel, who seek to hear a multitude of voices and perspectives on the situation, or act on deeply held values and principles to try to create change. Gordis may find some of those values and principles misguided, counterproductive or even dangerous. But self-centered and individualistic? Since when did challenging ideas and community norms become pampered, selfish behavior?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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