I'm sorry I didn't link to this before. Jack Shafer mocks the Times for publishing yet another "you-wouldn't-believe-where-we-found-Jews-this-time" piece." Of course, everyone knows that the easiest way to rise to the top of the Times' most-emailed list is to have the word "Jew" (or "Hanukkah," or "Orrin Hatch") in the headline. Then Jack makes the cogent case why it's not so effing unusual to find small pockets of Jews in unlikely places:
For cultural and religious reasons, many Jews tend to want to live in proximity to other Jews: One-third of world Jewry live in metropolitan Tel Aviv and New York. So if a significant number of Jews leave a village or country, it's only natural that those left-behind Jews might feel a tug to join them or move to another Jewish quarter. Others might say to themselves, "Hell, if I'm going to live some place with no Jews I might as well live some place where the weather is better and there are more jobs." Also, the urge to relocate might be irresistible for those who live in a small Jewish enclave but are looking for a spouse--many Jews won't marry non-Jews. Finally, if some Jews are taking advantage of the Law of Return by making aliyah and settling in Israel, it's only rational to expect Jewish depopulation elsewhere, as well as abandoned synagogues and quite a few derelict Jewish cemeteries.
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