It is time to shift the definition of “Jewish community.” Many if not most are single, divorced and/or widowed. Serve their needs!
The institutions have not evolved to match the reality.
Example 1–Community Shabbos dinner should be standard. A woman in town said to me, “I am single, my Friday night meal is frozen yogurt and matza ball soup from a can.” Why does she have to wait for an invitation…this is what Shul is for.
Example 2–Single parents. Nobody can afford tuition, solo mom or dad especially. Need homeschooling solutions that keep kids in the frum culture without sacrificing secular quality education. This is a must!
Example 3–Singles. Being single is not a disease. People who are solo are simply living. They want to meet people without being treated with pressure. Like a piece of beef. Make community events for EVERYONE. Build a house for poor people. Make food for the poor. Oh wait did I say poverty???
Example 4–MOST JEWS ARE NOT RICH. The cost of kosher meat is exorbitant. We need to teach each other to live within our means. Cooking, small business skills, no cost weekend activities, etc. The days of mommy and daddy paying for two car garage homes and Yeshiva are over.
Example 5–Elderly and widowed or divorced. Alone. Somebody needs to be checking on our most vulnerable populations. Personal financial security, healthy eating, someone to talk to. We can’t leave it to the local Jewish Federation social workers. These people are our parents. Our sisters and brothers. Us.
Seriously: I am just so sick and tired of the superior “us vs. them” mentality. There is no “in” group anymore. Nobody can afford the financial or emotional pressure of trying to keep up with the Joneses either religiously or in any other competition. And I really feel the revolution has to start by dealing with the reality of how people live right now.
By Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are the author’s own. This blog is hereby released into the public domain.