Culture, Identity

NJ Jewish News Chimes in on Hipster Debate

Andrew Silow-Caroll throws in his two-cents on The Jewish Week‘s hipster hate-fest.

In truth, the backlash against the scene is not nearly as strong as the Jewish Week suggested it is, nor have the 20-something Jews managed to transform Jewish culture in the ways they keep predicting.
The “social entrepreneurs” can find solace in the experience of previous generations of young Jewish rebels. Nearly 40 years ago student activists staged a revolt at the national convention of the Jewish federation movement, demanding increased funding for Jewish education and programs that promote “creative Jewish living and identity.” It took a few decades and some scary news about intermarriage, but their “radical” platform is now the mainstream. Those same students, who lost their Jewfros long ago, are now leaders of Jewish organizations around the world.
Those veteran Jewish leaders, meanwhile, need to let go of their obsession with “authenticity” and “depth” if they expect to tap Jewish energies beyond an observant elite.

Read on…

7 thoughts on “NJ Jewish News Chimes in on Hipster Debate

  1. Yeah, they better get rid of authenticity and depth – that’s a great idea.
    I wonder if the writer ever met any of the mainstream Jewish elite. Personal experience — none of them are “observant” by any stretch of the imagination.

  2. I can see both sides of the debate. Of course, we need depth and authenticity – but we also need to find a way of attracting as many people as possible. Perhaps, if given a chance, the same young people who are attracted by the loud slogan, will eventually develop interest in the deep and authentic (whatever that is). I mean, I think being having them just a little pro-Jewish is better than having them intermarried and apathetic or even falling for anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli slogans.

  3. Mobius,
    This is getting out of hand! Almost 50 categories! I’m going to need Google just to find the right one! 😉
    May I suggest some consolidation? For example: Identity/Affiliation, Denomination, and Post-Denom. probably can be consolidated into one category. As can Media and Hollywood. Ya see what I mean?

  4. jewish identity and affiliation is not the same as what’s happening inside the conservative movement nor is it the same as what’s happening in independent minyanim. media, ie., the press, is not the same as what that gaudy bitch wore to the oscars.

  5. He’s totally missing the point. It’s not a question of an “observant” establishment versus new secular/”ethnicity”-focused independent projects. He equates “serious Jewish learning” with “looking for a synagogue”, but the reason young Jews are attracted to the new independent projects (not Heeb and Jewcy, but independent minyanim and havurot) is because they want serious Jewish learning, which they can’t find in a synagoue.

  6. there;s a little bit of discussion about this at ajpa, in the sense that commentary just slammed the net culture among people like us, etc.
    what the establishment never got is that there are Jews who want to be Jews but they chase them away because they are still pounding the old way of building social currency. They don’t even look where you are for community members, and thereby miss the point. they are trapped inside walls and on paper pulp and they are terrified to give anything away for free.

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