Barbara Sofer

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Barbara Sofer

Award-winning writer and lecturer Barbara Sofer grew up in a small town in Connecticut, and moved to Israel in 1971. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her articles -taking on a wide range of subjects from ethnic cooking to terrorism--have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Parents, Readers' Digest, Woman's Day, Hadassah Magazine and Inside Magazine among many others. She writes a bi-weekly column for the Friday Jerusalem Post.

Barbara has written five books and contributed to several others


Jerusalem Post

The Human Spirit: Israeli Jewish women and demography  

By Barbara Sofer

From 1995 to 2013, the annual number of Israeli Jewish births surged by 65 percent – from 80,400 to 132,000 Former ambassador Yoram Ettinger needs to change our appointment. He has to go out of town to babysit for his grandchildren. Working grandparents in Israel these day have to balance their workweek with grandparenting responsibilities.

Feel familiar? When we do meet for coffee, the reason for Etthinger's postponement turns out to be germane. We're having the background conversation for a late-night, Hadassah-sponsored, over-the-Internet lecture on "Defining Zionism in the 21st Century for America." He's the speaker and I'm the facilitator.

I expect us to discuss Diaspora-Israel relations, but instead we talk mostly about babies – who is having them and why.

When it comes to Middle East demography, Ettinger maintains that most of us have our facts backwards. We've become so accustomed to thinking we're sitting on a demographic time bomb that will implode when Jews are outnumbered, that we've failed to follow the latest statistics.

Indeed, Ettinger's ideas are counterintuitive for all of us who have long believed that the demographics of our region are pitted strongly against us.

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