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amen, sister.


I thought it was a really heavy ad too. It doesn't instill excitement to come on one of the programs at all. I don't know - I think it was too negative an approach.

jess in boston

i just watched the video (albeit without sound), and the images seriously rub me the wrong way. I feel the same way as you do Esther, re: the similarity to flyers post 9/11 (and really, just about any poster looking for a person who really *is* missing).

I also happen to be an intermarried Jew who is active in a welcoming synagogue community in Boston -- along with my non-Jewish husband. I grew up hearing the "intermarriage is bad" mantra my whole life, both from family and in synagogue, USY, etc., and I'm occasionally still dealing with some self-perpetuated guilt about it (that stuff goes deep!) -- but thank goodness my family is totally accepting, and we've also found a vibrant Jewish community that is full of interfaith couples and families.

I agree with Sharone -- this marketing might appeal to some, but for me, it misses the mark. Tell us how wonderful Israel is, that we'll feel connected to our history, meet wonderful people, and maybe meet a mate. But don't perpetuate the ill-will that has been directed at interfaith families for so long -- it's so counterproductive. You've summed it up perfectly: "If people are treated as if they're lost to Judaism, they will be lost to Judaism."

Thank you for posting about this!


Very poor taste. And it also takes away from posters of current missing people.


As a Federation director, this is one of those times when I hope my community doesn't hear about what's being done with this money. There's just no upside to vilifying intermarriage these days.


Another example of Israelis thinking they know it all and just not getting it. I know of plenty of Reform Jews who will be very offended. Some common sense folks.


I think its a bad play on a popular campaign which has very emotional impact.

Maital Guttman

I am ashamed of this ad campaign. The reality is that many Jews are intermarrying and many Jews who married other Jews are still "lost." If we make intermarried couples feel like a cancer on our community, then they definitely will not be a part of it. Instead, we should welcome them, as they have important perspectives to bring to the table to make us an even stronger community.


Esther -- great post.


Thanks, everyone.

Franny, glad you're reading.

Sharone, it's a classic example of "or else"/ultimatum marketing to make you feel like you can control a situation that's gotten away from you. But Israel's had some hit-or-miss kinds of campaigns in the past, including possibly the most comedic/guilt-inducing one..."Israel: No One Belongs Here More Than You." Whoa.

Jess, thanks for your comments. I'm kind of glad to have the affirmation that I wasn't alone in how the images landed in my brain.

PG and Rebmoti, I fully agree.

Lisa, Eliana, Maital: I just wish I could climb inside of the head of the creative team that pitched and implemented this campaign. Didn't anyone speak up about it, or was the idea to get us all buzzing about it, even in the negative?

EV, "great post," like you really liked it, or like you're going to turn me into a cartoon version of myself in your next opus? (As long as she's hot, I don't actually care if it's #2.)

I find the ad problematic for a number of reasons outside of the ones that Esther has so eloquently mentioned.

"Together, we will strengthen his or her bond to Israel, so that we don't lose them.."

First, the idea that the state of Israel is central to a Jewish life or Jewish identity is patently absurd. I don't mean to say that the land of Israel has no place in Judaism, that is obviously far more absurd, but the idea that one has to build a bond to the state of Israel in order to remain strongly Jewish is BS. In my case, my trip to Israel was actually the first step towards me leaving the Zionist fold. I haven't left Judaism; far from it in fact, my studies have increased over the years, but I am constantly worried that my political/social outlook will adversely affect my being welcome in my community. This is because of the message that Israel, through groups like MASA, project on the American Jewish community.

"Even though this is an existential problem, the public in Israel is displaying apathy towards it because the process is slow and not dramatic, out of sight," he said. "The time has come to put the issue on the table."

Secondly, the ad leaves me with an odd feeling that this idea that intermarriage poses an existential threat to Jewish life is somehow part of the problem inside Israel itself. It speaks directly to the issue of having a purely ethnically based State. It speaks to the idea of ethnic or racial purity. For me, as a Ger, it goes to the heart of "who is a Jew"? (And perhaps in the case of the State of Israel, who decides who a Jew is) And alternately, and tragically, the extension of this line of thinking may speak to the issue of cleansing E. Jerusalem and elsewhere.

I know my opinion may not be popular in this setting, but I think that these are at least issues for Jews to think about. Esther, I applaud you for posting on this.

Michael Amsellem

Hi Ester how are you ?

It's Michael from France ROI'09...

I think we should not confuse assimilation and intermarriage, these are two differents points.

In this ad, they are not talking about
intermarriage, but assimilation that is a lost of identity not to say a will to flee his identity.

I think we have to make the differences between 3 cases :

1.)The one who wants to flee his Jewish identity AND marrying a non-Jew partner
2.)The one who wants to keep his J-identity BUT marries a non-Jew
3.) The one who will marry a non-Jew, BECAUSE he had a weak jewish consciousness...( No education, assimilated by passivity)

That's three complete different cases..

If we ask the question, about what brings assimilation, it's a very subtile question, that could bring very unexpected answers...

As I mentionned on my post. I think it's a GOOD AD, precisely because it introduce the question of Assimilation as a national problem.

But do Jews from Diaspora are considered by the Israeli Government as belonging to the Nation of Israel, to the People of Israel ?
Aren't we consider only as a cold asset ?

I wouldn't be surprised to see on a few weeks, a counter ad, showing an Israeli, that would go on Diaspora, and a Jewish inviting him for a Shabbat so he could get a spiritual education, that could some time be missing... In Israel...

In Traditionalistic milieu in France, when it's eared about a Jew who, by making alya is getting Hiloni, with all the respect dued to them, they are perceived as assimilated by Israel, and lose of meaning...of Identity...

The Very Big Question, is always the same :
What is the Identity of Israel ? And how can we define who are her members, in this very complex modern world.

I'm trying to be critical as it has been mentioned by Alon BenAvraham, that Israel think they are all, and Jewish Communities from the world are nothing and irresponsible...

That is off course the greatest mess of this ad... But if this provocative ad, allow the introduction of the debate on Assimilation and Identity inside the Jewish-Israel World, I think that's a good thing.

Demographics is Destiny

I'm no anti-Muslim bigot, but it's now well established that sadly dogmatic radical elements of their communities if unreformed coupled with high birth-rates are a possible threat to the personal freedoms and enlightenments and secular law found in Europe and Israel (and even Lebanon for that matter). Collapsed birthrates in Europe are a problem that bodes ill for cultural continuity, kudos to Israeli Jewish women for their impressive Total Fertility Rate (2.71) compared to indigenous European's disasterous one (1.3).

Chicago Jewish Singles

Isn't America supposed to be the great "melting pot" anyhow? I understand the concern with preserving cultures and traditions, but sometimes I think people get a little too carried away. Love who you want to love. Marry who you want to marry.

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Although this program has a beneficial vision of helping people, I do not agree the idea of sending children to Israel because they not only lose their habits but their own identity. In addition to a child you can not choose their fate, when he grows up they have every right to choose their own partner regardless of the origin of this.

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Although this program has a beneficial vision of helping people, I do not agree the idea of sending children to Israel because they not only lose their habits but their own identity. In addition to a child you can not choose their fate, when he grows up they have every right to choose their own partner regardless of the origin of this.

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Wow nice..I love watching this video!! =D Thanks for sharing this..I really enjoyed watching it..

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