Brad L. Burge
God desires that ALL people would accept God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ. God has compelled me to share information with the world relating to the biblical seven year tribulation in order to share Truth in a deceived world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5)
Jesus answered, "I AM the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
If you haven’t noticed, Jewish ideas, values, personalities, and culture are becoming mainstream in the American media
For the first time in Jewish history we have the capability to bring Jewish values to a mainstream, international audience. Rather than enticing Jews to come to our community, we can so seamlessly integrate Judaism into the mainstream culture so that no Jew can escape it.
We can make Judaism and Jewish values so central to American life that wherever anyone turns to TV, radio, the Internet and print, they will bump into something Jewish.
If you haven’t noticed, Jewish ideas, values, personalities, and culture are becoming mainstream in the American media. From my own national TV show that proudly features a rabbi with a yarmulke and tzitzis who uses Jewish values to heal largely non-Jewish American families, to radio hosts like Dennis Prager and Michael Medved who disseminate Jewish values on the airwaves, to Wendy Mogel who wrote one of the country’s most influential parenting books based on Jewish teachings and the Talmud, to Matisyahu who brings Jewish lyrics and themes to mainstream music, to Rabbi Harold Kushner who for decades has been writing highly successful best-sellers all based on Jewish ideas and which are read by millions of non-Jews, to the mainstreaming of Kabbalah among Hollywood celebrities, Jewish values are molding the mainstream culture. It is time that we chose to greatly accelerate this trend.
The key, as I learned when I served as a rabbi at Oxford University in my early twenties, was not to try to create a haven for Jewish students, like Hillel. Rather it was to make Oxford more Jewish. So we created an organization that sought mainstream membership from all of Oxford’s students and brought in speakers from Mikhail Gorbachev to Stephen Hawking, and within two years of its founding, had over 5,000 non-Jewish members.
Suddenly, non-Jewish students were dragging their Jewish friends to Jewish events, including Friday night Shabbat dinners where many tasted of a Jewish experience for the very first time. And rather than encouraging assimilation through the participation of non-Jews, our students began to develop a pride in their identities, especially after seeing how excited their non-Jewish friends were about Judaism. Judaism was made so high profile that even non-Jewish students started becoming conversant with Jewish basics. And suddenly for the Jewish students no Jewish choice was necessary.
We can do the same on a wider scale in the popular American culture. Some ideas in this vein would be:
The creation of a professional think-tank consisting of national personalities who have had success in the mainstreaming of Jewish ideas in the popular culture. They would disseminate Jewish values dealing with important issues like marriage, child rearing, business ethics, and politics.
A campaign launched to harness the next generation of mainstreamers of Judaism, identifying those gifted as television hosts, radio hosts, authors, bloggers, and lecturers who can bring out the universal qualities of Judaism for a mainstream audience.
The creation of a national, weekly class to be offered on Jewish values in synagogues and JCCs across America with a curriculum that appeals to Jews and non-Jews alike.
The creation of an organization to publish in a timely fashion books, blogs, and literature that offer the Jewish values-view on every aspect under the sun.
The creation of a highly professional Jewish-values based production company to package and create entertaining TV shows to be offered to the mainstream networks.
The implementation of these ideas stands the best chance of bringing the universality of Judaism and Jewish values for the very first time to the epicenter of American intellectual, cultural, and political life. I am working on the implementation of some of these ideas in a new organization I am founding to be called The Jewish Values Network. But it is for the mainstream Jewish community to pick up this challenge and finally bring Judaism to the American Jewish and non-Jewish masses.