The Formula For Getting Young Jews to Support Israel

Friday, 2 February, 2024 - 12:26 pm

So many are dismayed by the increase of young people who are, at best, indifferent or, at worst, outright hostile towards Israel, especially since October 7. While most Jews, of all ages, are feeling a heightened connection and support, there is a minority, a significant minority, that is orienting the other way.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time bemoaning how this came about. But I would like to consider some ideas on how we can get ahead of it moving forward.

We must teach our young people to love Jews. The prospect of millions of my loved ones in direct harm’s way should be a great motivator on the need to support Israel right now. For too long our children have been made to feel uncomfortable with feeling greater affinity for their Jewish brothers and sisters. Of course, all people are created in the Divine Image, and deserve to be treated with dignity and caring. But Jews are our family. There is nothing wrong or immoral with feeling closer to mishpacha! How do we generate that feeling of mishpacha?

We must teach our young people to love Judaism. When we think about the shared values, destiny, and connection with Hashem that Judaism offers as a heritage to every Jew, that increases our connection with each other. For too long our children have been given a watered down, inauthentic version of our precious Judaism. They have been robbed of the depth, the profundity, the soulfulness, the transformative nature, and the eternality of the guidance and direction that Torah and Judaism affords every one of us as our unequivocal heritage. The richest wisdom the world has ever known has been relegated into being some sort of cheerleader for the social justice de jour. How do we impart love of Judaism?    

By creating opportunities for them to feel pride in an authentic Jewish experience. I would like to highlight something taking place tonight in our own community. Chabad at Tulane will be hosting a Shabbat dinner on the center quad of the Tulane campus (LBC Quad) for 1500 students. There will be no empty chairs at this Shabbat dinner. Each one will be filled by a Jewish young lady or man feeling a surge of Jewish pride. Those filled seats will be highly effective in raising awareness about the hostages in Gaza. Hundres of boys will be laying Tefillin just before the sun goes down and Shabbat starts. Hundreds of girls will kindle Shabbat candles illuminating the world with their spiritual light. Those boys and girls singing Am Yisrael Chai at the top of their lungs, while getting ready to hear Kiddush, will come away with an authentic Jewish pride experience that can be life-changing.

We are racing against the clock. We cannot afford to lose another generation of young people. Everyone must get involved and support these efforts to create the proud Jews of the future.
Israel is not just a strip of land. It is really about Jews and Judaism. The sooner we recognize that the more successful we will be.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

Action Plan Highlights
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Add your Mitzvah today!

· Tefillin: Please visit Chabad Uptown or Chabad Metairie and lay Tefillin or reach out to have someone come by with Tefillin. If you have Tefillin, put them on daily and offer to share them with other Jewish males over Bar Mitzvah.

· Shabbat Candles: Ladies and girls, you have the power of light in your hands. Light Shabbat candles before sunset on Friday (this week at 5:20 pm).

· Mezuzah: Put a Mezuzah on the door of your home or check the existing ones to make sure they are valid. Reach out to us if you need a Mezuzah or help checking the ones you have up.

· Tzedakah: is a great resource to get funds directly to the organizations on the ground in Israel helping with the war effort. There are many other reputable organizations raising funds as well, see for the Jewish Federation’s initiatives. The main thing is to offer our support.

· Pray: Chabad Rabbis in Israel have asked that recite the following Psalms for the safety and security our people in Israel - Psalms 20, 22, 69, 122, and 150. At Chabad (both locations) we recite them twice daily during the morning and evening minyan.

· Letter in the Scroll: Get your child a letter in the Children’s Torah Scroll – . The Unity Torah for people of all ages –

· Study Torah: Join a Torah class or study on your own. Check out the recently begun course Advice For Life –

· Take a tour of a Mikvah and explore the secret to Jewish family purity and harmony. For more info,


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