Teens’ apathy toward Israel disappointing

Kyla Gersten

By Kyla Gersten, Solomon Schecter Day School

For the current generation of teens, Israel is something that has always been there and always will be there. However, this may not be the case. The state of Israel’s future is in jeopardy every single day.

Unfortunately, Israel has not become a significant part of the everyday lives of many teens: apart from the occasional Hebrew school discussion or mention on the news, most Jewish teenagers do not think about Israel in their day-to-day lives. This indifference is upsetting. Because Israel is a place where all Jews can be together without feeling out of place, every Jewish teenager should be as concerned about the situation in Israel as they are with America. All Jews should feel responsible for taking care of their homeland.

Despite teens’ lack of concern, many teenagers are still Zionist. Teens still desire a Jewish state and Jewish culture. Almost all Jewish teens would be devastated if Israel no longer existed. In a time of need, I believe the majority of Jewish teenagers would fight for Israel’s existence.

Teenagers of today still remain Zionists, but to a lesser degree than last generation. More than 60 years ago, the Holocaust took place, leading to the creation of Israel. Because the older generations lived during that time, the Zionist push was greater. People then saw firsthand the tremendous need for a Jewish country, and therefore State were far more Zionist than the majority of today’s teens.

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Many Jewish-American teenagers have heard stories of bombs and war in Israel; they don’t see it as the Promised Land, but as a country always at war with its neighboring countries. These thoughts eliminate any picture we had of Israel as a safe homeland, resulting in most Jewish teens not having a great desire to set foot in Israel. However, much of the media’s coverage of Israeli is negatively biased.

To fully appreciate the existence of Israel, Jewish-American teens should embrace their role as Jews and learn more about Israeli culture and the Israeli people. One way to accomplish this is to visit Israel – with family, youth groups, or other organized trips. Another way is to donate to Israeli charities that are in need, or simply research Israeli current events. By increasing awareness and knowledge of Israel, today’s teens will keep the Zionist movement alive.

(This article represents the opinion of the writers.)