Is it good news or bad news that no Jewish story made it into the Religion Newswriters Association‘s list of “Top 10 Religion Stories of the Year”? Here’s their list, truncated:
1. Catholic bishops fight Obamacare over contraception.
2. “Nones” is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States.
3. The “Innocence of Muslims” travesty.
4. Romney’s Mormon faith “turns out to be a virtual non-issue for white evangelical voters”
5. Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia found guilty of covering up priestly child abuse.
6. The Vatican criticizes U.S. nuns over abortion, sexuality, women’s ordination.
7. Voters OK same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington.
8. The Episcopal Church adopts trial ritual for blessing same-sex couples.
9. The murders at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.
10. Southern Baptist Convention elects first black president.
Meanwhile, here’s the Ant-Defamation League’s list of “Top 10 issues affecting Jews in 2012“:
· Anti-Semitism Resurgent in Europe
· Iran Sanctions and Subterfuge
· U.N. Vote to Upgrade “Palestine”
· GazaRockets Met with Israeli Airstrikes
· Campaign 2012 and Efforts to Woo the Jewish Vote
· Rumor Jews Were Behind Anti-Muslim Film Goes Viral
· Primary Presidential Candidates Mix Religion and Politics
· 2012 Olympics Committee Fails to Recognize Munich 11
· U.S. Jewish Community on Alert As Year Begins, Ends with Anti-Semitic Incidents
· Deafening Silence in Face of Hamas Celebrations to “DestroyIsrael”
Number nine, “U.S. Jewish Community on Alert As Year Begins, Ends with Anti-Semitic Incidents,” is my favorite, since it basically describes every year in history. ADL is referring to the attacks on a congregation in Rutherford and similar attacks in Hackensack, which were scary but surprised no one by being the work of 20-year-old lone wolf. The year ended with “concerns about Jewish institutional security in this country and abroad” sparked by the hostilities in Gaza and vandalism incidents at Northeastern University and in South Florida.
If these were among the 10 most significant things to happen to Jews this year, then it is very good news indeed.