December 10, 2023

Rabbi Lonnie Kleinman of Mount Airy, PA was arrested just three weeks ago at the US Capitol while advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza. She immediately received a text message from her father expressing deep disappointment. He mentioned that her grandparents, who had survived the Holocaust, would have been devastated. As a result, she and her father are not speaking, as they are both trying to protect the Jewish people and honor their parents’ legacy in different ways. There is a growing generational divide in Jewish communities, with younger Americans being more skeptical of the Israeli government and the US-Israel relationship compared to older generations. The younger generation is also critical of Israel’s current government. The generational rift predates the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has resulted in grief, fury, and fractured conversations among families in Philadelphia and nationwide. The recent conflict saw a surge in demonstrations led by Jews against Israel’s actions in Gaza, leading to contentious debates and strained relationships among family members. Overall, the debates reflect differing views on the role of Israel in ensuring Jewish safety and the treatment of Palestinians. Mothers and fathers are finding it difficult to discuss these matters with their children, leading to silence and rifts in some families. However, others are making efforts to maintain open and ongoing dialogue, particularly by engaging in the difficult conversations and urging lawmakers to call for a ceasefire.