Young Jews show waning interest in Judaism

The average young Jewish adult in St. Louis is Jewish only four times a year: Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. The same person is a Cardinals fan at least 162 times a year, not including spring training and playoffs. This tells me that young Jews are 40 times more proud to be part of the Cardinal Nation than of the Chosen People.

Loyal supporters dress head to toe in Cardinals gear. They can’t ever wear too much red. The same person won’t keep any level of kashrut because they worry about being “too Jewish.”

A lot of you can name the Cardinals’ starting lineup. How many can name Adam and Eve’s third son? (The answer is later in the column).

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

This is backwards. Nobody I know says they want to be buried in a Busch approved cemetery. And no one has ever broken their Bubbie’s heart because they married a Cubs fan.

My point is not to bash baseball or position Judaism against sport. It just bothers me how little interest young Jews have in their religion. At least the one that doesn’t include Fredbird.

I attend a lot of Jewish events where I’m one of the youngest people in the room, and I’m 35! It shouldn’t be this way. There are three organizations dedicated to Jewish education: the Kollel, Aish and Chabad. Stop by one and see what classes they have to offer.

There are over 20 synagogues in the community. Go to services one random weeknight. Help make the minyan that allows someone to say Yahrtzeit for a loved one.

We have two Jewish Community Centers and an active Federation. All three would love to have more volunteers for dozens of events. You could do everything from home visits with the elderly to helping out with the nation’s largest Jewish Book Festival.

You don’t have to look too hard to find out what is going on in our community. The Jewish Light and JewishinStLouis.org have everything listed for you.

By the way, we can all trace our lineage back to Noah, whose roots go back to Seth, Adam and Eve’s third son.

If I had a dime for every time someone said how hard it was to meet young Jews in this town, I could probably afford Cardinals tickets. Call me meshuggah, but attending Jewish events just might be a good way to meet Jewish people.

Stop worrying about being “too Jewish.” There’s no such thing.

Just be Jewish. In a Cardinals t-shirt.

Brad Abel, University City