Jews Giving Hugs


One of the goals of is to advocate Jewish communal attitudes, policies and practices that are inclusive of interfaith families. In order for institutions to be accepting, their members have to be open minded. I read an article about a recent study that suggests the Jew community is coming around.

Hug by Jess Lee CuizonThis week, the results of the Jewish Peoplehood Index Project will be released at the Herzliya Conference, which is an annual meeting on Israel’s defense and foreign policy. This study compares the Israeli and American Jewish communities. The findings show similar preferences. When American and Israeli participants were asked to agree or disagree on the following statement, “We should relate to Jews married to non-Jews as part of the Jewish people in the same way as we relate to Jews married to Jews,” the average answer was 64 percent affirmative (69 percent Americans and 59 percent Israeli). I wish every Jew was tolerant and accepting of the choices of others. But 64 percent is an excellent start between the American and Israeli Jewish communities.

The Jewish Peoplehood Index was supported by the NADAV Fund, which also funds birthright israel, Beth Hatefutsoth–Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, and other projects that strengthen ties between Israel and Jews in the diaspora.

Last Monday, I had another experience that made me feel like the Jewish community has become more inclusive. I joined 240,000of my fellow Facebookers in the Official Hug a Jew Day. The Facebook event page was for Jews and non-Jews, individuals with Jewish heritage and those from all denominations. What a great way to start being a united Jewish community, with a hug and nod to our differences. You can show how you are a helping to create a welcoming Jewish community by joining’s Facebook page.

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