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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Jul 13, 2016

Intermarriage at record high – but rate of increase slows


LONDON - New research into intermarriage among British Jews has shown that it is at its highest level for generations. The report, by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, claims that marrying out is having a "corrosive" effect on the Jewish population.

However, marriage between Jews and non-Jews is rising at a far slower rate than had been previously thought - and is half that of the United States.

David Graham, author of the new survey, said that the "doom-laden predictions of the 1990s about accelerating intermarriage have not come to pass".

He added that "although the intermarriage rate has been steadily rising since at least the early 1970s and is currently higher than it has been in a generation, the rate of increase since the early 1980s has been modest at most".

Yet, the effect of such marriages remains "corrosive" on the Jewish population, the report claims, because the children of intermarried couples are three times less likely to be raised as Jewish as those from all-Jewish families.

The new research shows that while marriage between Jews and non-Jews is at a record high of 26 per cent, it has climbed by only one per cent since the mid-1990s. This compares with a figure of 58 per cent for the United States.

Whereas 96 per cent of Jews who married-in raise their children as Jewish, only 31 per cent of intermarried couples do. And while 44 per cent of intermarried Jewish women raise their children as Jewish, just 10 per cent of intermarried Jewish men do. - Jewish Chronicle, London


Record number of Jewish politicians elected 


CANBERRA - Australians have voted, and while the final results are still being determined, the country has elected three new Jewish politicians.

Julian Leeser became the first Jewish Liberal in the House of Representatives from New South Wales when he easily won the seat of Berowra, Dr Michael Freelander swooped to victory for Labour in the Western Sydney electorate of Macarthur with a swing of more than 10 per cent, and Stirling Griff from Adelaide earned a seat in the Senate as he was second on the Nick Xenophon Team ticket.

The three new politicians will join Liberal’s Member for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg, who was one of the few Liberal parliamentarians to increase their vote, Labour Member Isaac Mark Dreyfus and, in all likelihood, Labour’s Michael Danby, who is ahead as the count continues for the vital seat of Melbourne Ports.

It is believed to be the first time that six Jews would be elected to Federal Parliament.

Leeser said - referring to the six - that it’s very exciting and he wants to encourage other Jewish people to get involved in politics.

“We shouldn’t stop at six,” he said.

Frydenberg told The AJN this week that it will be fantastic to see so many Jewish politicians elected to Parliament House.

“For a long time the Jewish community has been well represented in the top echelon of the professions of academia and of business, and it seems there has been a catch-up occurring in politics.” – Australian Jewish News


Israel21c exhibition ‘informed, amazed and inspired’


TEL AVIV - Since launching its Independence Day online exhibition “18 Ways Israel is Changing the World”, Israel 21c has been getting enthusiastic feedback from people in several countries who are using all or part of the full-colour, 18-image downloadable display onsite or online.

“The photos and information are fantastic,” wrote Jodi Gross of Congregation Adat Shalom in Farmington Hills, Michigan. “They are a wonderful way to tell kids and adults about the amazing things happening in Israel. We printed them and put them on a bulletin board focused on Israel.”

Ruth Saunders, executive director of the Anglo-Israel Association in London, said she plans to hang the Israel 21c exhibit at the organisation’s annual dinner in November.

Gail Jospa of Dix Hills Jewish Centre in New York had the exhibition printed for the synagogue’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration, and then displayed the posters at a countywide programme preparing Jewish high school seniors to respond to BDS, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism they may face on college campuses.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation included a link to the exhibition in the May edition of its interactive newsletter that goes out to its many programme participants in the United States and Israel.

Pedro Bilar, an Israel advocate from Zug, Switzerland, said he downloaded the exhibit and is hoping to have it displayed at a Swiss university. “Together with friends, we are thinking of other venues as well. We think it is very good and could be effective.” - Israel 21c


Thousands in 13 countries use sports media platforms from Israel


TEL AVIV - Thousands of amateur sports writers across 13 countries are using the 90min and 12up platforms from Israeli sports media and technology company Minute Media to produce, publish and share more than 15 000 pieces of curated interactive content in 10 languages every month.

It may be called the BuzzFeed of the sports world.

The precursor of Minute Media, FTBpro, was founded by Asaf Peled in 2011 in Tel Aviv. The company has raised a total of $45 million in venture- capital funding.

“We saw a space in the global sports market for user-generated content and foresaw the way journalism was going toward the likes of Huff-Post and BuzzFeed,” said Matan Har, Minute Media vice-president of growth and content.

“We didn’t see anyone in the sports space doing this. And since we eat, breathe and sleep sports, it was a natural fit for us.”

90min, its first platform for soccer citizen journalists in Europe, South America and Asia, has more than 110 million users engaged through social media monthly, 70 per cent of them under the age of 25.

12up was launched in May as a media platform for fans of American sports. In private beta testing for two months, 12up built up to reach more than four million unique users, mostly through mobile use and mainly between the ages of 18 and 24.

“12up” is an American football term. - Jerusalem Post


Manitoba Jewish Foundation aims for $150 million assets


WINNIPEG - After doubling its capital base over the last 10 years, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba (JFM) is aiming to reach even higher and increase its assets by 50 per cent to $150 million.

In order to do this, the board has developed a new strategic plan, CEO Marsha Cowan reported at the organisation’s annual general meeting last month.

“We started working on our new strategic plan last fall,” Cowan said. “We felt that we needed this plan in order to help us chart our way forward. Successful organisations regularly examine their performance and set meaningful targets and goals. They anticipate challenges and adapt accordingly.”

At the AGM, Cowan, who has headed the JFM for 10 years, reported that the foundation’s current capital base is $104 million. Last year it received bequests totalling $1,3 million. The largest was $1,1 million from the estate of the late Irma Penn.

In developing its new plan, the JFM board considered best practices in foundation governance, community demographics and trends in local Jewish philanthropy.

“We identified two areas to focus on: governance and fund development,” Cowan said.

For fund development, the board decided the JFM needed a formal marketing plan in order to accentuate growth. As a result, the board has approved the establishment of a multi-year fund development plan.

As for governance, the new plan calls for reducing the size of the JFM board and establishing two new standing committees, one for development and gift planning, the other for distribution. - Canadian Jewish News


Sharing Shabbat by the seashore – pairing religion and nature


PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia-area synagogues are teaming up with their counterparts at the shore to hold services along the beach. Pairing religion and nature has proven to be popular.

The soothing sound of waves crashing onto the shore. Delicate sand castles rising from the surface. Seagulls squawking “mine!” as they search the sand for scraps. 

This might sound like the backdrop of a family day at the beach, but it’s also the setting of a popular spot for Shabbat services during the summer. 

Well, at least it is for synagogues already housed in popular beach towns such as Ventnor and Margate, New Jersey. 

A few Philadelphia-area synagogues have taken advantage of the summery location of these synagogues and formed partnerships to hold services together as congregations. These relationships have allowed synagogues to bring their shul to the shore.

Starting in July, Congregation Beth Judah (now called Shirat Hayam as a result of a merger with Margate synagogue Temple Emeth Shalom) will hold its first of three sets of Devotion by the Ocean, Kabbalat Shabbat services that are co-sponsored by Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia.

“We have the beach right here. We have the ocean right here. When we have good weather, it’s fabulous,” said Rabbi Jonathan Kremer of Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor. 

While this will only be his third year participating in Devotion by the Ocean (his first was actually on his very first Friday as rabbi at the synagogue), he is looking forward to sharing in the Shabbat experience with others. - Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia


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