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“One People” was the official slogan of this year’s annual conference of United Jewish Communities, the umbrella organization of local Jewish communities. The only problem with this was that nearly all recent evidence has suggested that Jews are becoming ever less centralized and unified. Studies this year show that young Jews are increasingly alienated from Israel, while wealthy donors have increasingly been taking their funds to causes of their own choosing rather than directing them to centralized funds like Jewish federations. The tension between the dream and the reality ended up being an animating force at the weekend meeting.
“In many ways, we haven’t come up with the answers,” said Robert Aronson, who is CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and an adviser to a few major donors. “There’s an awareness that things aren’t working as they should.”
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg