Leave Yiddish Anarchism Behind
The article on Yiddish anarchism (“A YIVO Conference Finds a New Audience for Yiddish Anarchism,” Jan. 25) reminded me of the neo-Confederates who worship the “lost cause.” Like them, the “radical Jews who reject Zionism” seek inspiration from a past irrelevant today.
Looking for something positive in 100-year-old radical anti-Zionist anarchism is similar to neo-Confederates denying the 150-year-old Confederacy was based on slavery and saying no, it was states’ rights, the tariff and self-determination for the South. Despite its defeat, it was, they believe, a noble endeavor that has lessons for today.
Zionism is a smashing success. In 1948 Israel had 600,000 Jews, 5 percent of the total Jewish population. Now it has 7 million, close to 50 percent of the world’s Jews. Israel currently has by far the highest birth rate of any developed country. This high Jewish fertility (religious and secular) reflects enhanced optimism, Israeli patriotism, attachment to roots and communal responsibility. Meanwhile, since 1948, America’s Jewish population has stagnated at between 5 and 6 million, while total U. S. population more than doubled, dropping our portion of it from 4 percent to 2 percent.
If Zionism had failed in 1948, we Jews would have been among the most demoralized groups in history, having just lost a third of our people. How many Jews would have run away from this disaster? Instead, Israel restored our self-confidence, showing the possibilities of Jewish cultural and religious rebirth, a proud Jewish nationalism allowing us to express ourselves in Hebrew, to defend ourselves, making “Never Again” a reality rather than waiting for the next blow to fall.
Jewish history has moved on. Anarchism’s anti-Zionism was a small part of the Jewish past. It should stay there.
Thank you for your recent article by Marcy Shoemaker in the Feb. 1 edition entitled “How to Promote Elderly Independence,” which shined a spotlight on the ever- increasing needs of older adults. In Northwest Baltimore, CHAI, an agency of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, recognizes this need and is committed to connecting older adults to support services so they can remain independent, safe and well in their homes.
To connect more easily, CHAI recently introduced a senior intake line (410-500-LIFE). One call and CHAI can assist with a range of services, including senior home repair and benefits, transportation, affordable and safe living options, and social activities, through our Northwest Neighbors Connecting village and Myerberg Center fitness, art and technology programs.
As the older population continues to grow, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to helping everyone age well in our community.
Melissa K. Peters
President, CHAI Board of Directors
Lisa K. Budlow