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To the Disconnected Jew

We can’t wait to show you the incredible value of living Jewishly.
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March 6, 2024
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To the Disconnected Jew,

You were born a Jew, but that’s about it.

Perhaps you haven’t stepped foot in a synagogue since your bar or bat mitzvah.

Maybe you only go to services on Yom Kippur. 

You might have some Judaica your parents owned; you stash it in a drawer tucked away in your home, but you never take it out. 

To the Disconnected Jew, 

You saw those Chabad Jews in your neighborhood, and thought, “Really? That’s so antiquated. Get with the times. Dress normal like the rest of us and just blend in. Maybe if you did, the world would stop hating us.”

You believed that all this religious stuff was just nonsense. Those stories were made up. The Torah can’t be real. Why would God be so angry and punish us and need our constant praise? 

It’s all a fairytale, you thought. Grow up.

To the Disconnected Jew,

You didn’t have one Jewish friend. You didn’t live in a Jewish neighborhood or work with other Jews. 

You were in one big melting pot, and you liked it that way. You weren’t different from anyone else. You could just be a human among humans – that’s it. The way it should be.

To the Disconnected Jew,

You saw what happened on Oct. 7. 

“Same stuff, different day,” was your first reaction. “Israel is always at war,” you thought. “There will never be peace. The Middle East is a mess. Where was God in all of this?”

Oct. 7 gave you another reason not to believe — just like the Holocaust, where your family members died. 

“God was absent then, and He’s absent now,” you thought. “If God is good, how come the world is such a dark and depressing place? It doesn’t make any sense.”

To the Disconnected Jew,

After Oct. 7, you saw what your friends were posting on social media, those vile lies about Jews. 

You turned on the TV and watched as Jewish students were being shouted down and attacked on college campuses. 

You watched as swarms of hateful protesters took to your city streets and shouted genocidal slogans and promoted the annihilation of Jews everywhere. 

To the Disconnected Jew,

You started to feel scared. You began feeling alienated from your friends — or the people you thought were your friends. 

They posted news articles about how Israel is awful and protested against it. They didn’t reach out to ask how you felt. 

You looked around at work, in the grocery store, while taking a walk. Would someone recognize you as a Jew and attack you? Would you be safe?

To the Disconnected Jew,

We know what you are going through. We understand your struggles. We acknowledge your pain. 

And we have some news for you: Your Jewish brothers and sisters are here, waiting to embrace you with open arms. 

To the Disconnected Jew,

It’s never too late to take a stand.

It’s never too late to find God. 

It’s never too late to proudly declare that you are a Jew.

We don’t care about what you did in the past. 

We only care that you’re here now. 

To the Disconnected Jew,

Every Jew has a Pintele Yid inside of them, that small Jewish spark that can grow bigger and bigger and envelop you in Jewish joy.

Every Jew has a Pintele Yid inside of them, that small Jewish spark that can grow bigger and bigger and envelop you in Jewish joy.

You have discovered your own Pintele Yid. You’re joining a growing number of Jews who are reconnecting post-Oct. 7.

We can’t wait to show you the incredible value of living Jewishly.

We are excited to invite you to Shabbat dinner, to illuminate the beauty of our traditions, to talk about what’s happening in the world and offer you comfort during a deeply distressing time. 

We are your community, we are your brothers and sisters, we are your family. And we love you.

To the Reconnected Jew, 

Welcome home. 

Have you reconnected with your Judaism post Oct. 7? Email me: Kylieol@JewishJournal.com.


Kylie Ora Lobell is the Community Editor of the Jewish Journal.

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