A highly industrialized place like America where everybody is living a fast-paced life will probably influence anyone, even the most spiritual people on earth.
It is no wonder why immigrants are expected to adapt than to hold on to their traditions. The best example is that the American Jews.
Let’s take a look at the impact of American culture to the Jews living in the Usa.
Identity and Religion
Jews are always associated with Judaism as this is their religion like Islam to Muslims.
According to a survey done by Pew Research Center, one in five Jews describes themselves as non-religious or doesn’t have any religion at all.
Jew immigrants have brought their traditions and culture together. However, today’s generation today relies more on educational institutions to teach history to their children. This is why it’s no surprise when religion and other traditional practices are changed, if not entirely gone. To remedy this, parents frequently go on kosher tours and Jewish themed vacations to at least give their children a glimpse of their habit.
But even so, they’re still proud of their Jewish descendants. It’s just that they are living in a contemporary world where often than not, certain practices are no longer implemented.
But one can’t experience real happiness if they can’t experience sadness and mourning.
In Irving Greenberg’s book Jewish Valves And The Changing American Ethic, he discusses how American civilization widely accepts happiness in the sense that they almost deny the existence of death.
“He looks like he’s still alive.” Or”He’s settled okay.” — Those phrases alone manifest the way American culture denies death and mourning. But in Judaism, funerals are ceremonial yet remain very natural. There is not any embalming and cremation as they believe that the body needs to go back to the ground where they belong just the way they are. Additionally, the burial must be carried out whenever possible.
But American Jews nowadays are slowly adapting to the American method of mourning and even do cremation also.
Traditionally, intermarriage between Gentiles and Jews wasn’t allowed. However, following the migration to America, intermarriage was gradually accepted.
Now, intermarriage is now widely accepted in Jewish society. Rabbis and other Jewish scholars are afraid that the tolerance of intermarriage can lead to the extinction of their American-Jewish community.
As stated earlier, most Jews now claim to be non-religious. Most of the atheist Jews are involved an intermarriage and interfaith marriage.
In a poll done by Pew Research Center, 37 percent of intermarried Jews said that they’re not exposing their kids to Jewish traditions at all.
Nobody can tell if intermarriage has an impact of lessening the spiritual Jews in America, however, the numbers are evidence that it can be the reason after all.
This is why Rabbis and Jewish parents want their kids to be exposed to their Jewish roots. One great way is via celebrating holidays and vacations through kosher touring. With this, Jewish children will have the chance to take part in interactive Jewish programs and be exposed to their own heritage.