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Back to the Future of Israel

By Ashley Englander

Each one of us inched forward in our seats. Our ears opened, we hoped to hear something positive about the future of the Jewish people.

Professor David Passig, an “Israeli Futurist,” is a modern-day fortune teller for Jewish leaders. His book 2048 focuses on the future of Israel and the Jews by the second-half of the 21st century. First, Professor Passig began his lecture stating his findings were based on mathematics and previous world history. After hearing this, the skeptics in the room could slightly relax and hear what he had to say.

In order to speculate about the future one must understand the past and present. We looked at data from the early 20th century to the present and noticed the population around the world – including Israel. The notion of population control around the world and its effects seemed to not correlate with Israel at first. Why is the size of the population important when discussing the future of the state of Israel?

One answer: the number of Jews in the world before WWII was plus/minus 18 million. Unfortunately, today there are only 14 million Jews (those who identify as Jewish religiously or culturally) within the world. It is crucial to gain back the pre-WWII population number in order for Israel to continue to stay strong within controversial location and society.  

An argument to this is ‘Jews can live anywhere, not just Israel.’ Although this is valid, a Jewish homeland needs to exist for the Jews living in the Diaspora as a place to call home. Israel will thrive if she has a large group to support her. It could possibly be seen as the more Jews, the more support for Israel.

Passig did see a positive future for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. Based off his research, the people and country will continue to thrive when compared to other nations and religions. According to many stories within the Torah, the Israelites/Jews have always been a surviving people. Our forefather Abraham was promised to have as many generations as the stars in the sky and grains of sand on Earth. Also when times seemed dim in Egypt, God continued to keep his word and save the Israelites from continued slavery and persecution. Through God’s actions it is assumed (religiously) that the Jewish people will continue to thrive.

As a future Jewish leader, my connection to Israel needs to stay strong. In the future, when I teach I need to be able to explain the history of the Jewish people and its ties to Israel. At times it may seem like a rocky high school relationship, but in the end, she will always be my sweetheart.