The ominous image of two Hassidim in a dark forbidding background appears in an advertisement asking for support for the American Jewish University. The liberal Jewish college sits astride the hills of the Sepulveda Pass dividing Los Angeles from the San Fernando Valley. In the ad’s foreground are the backs of two Hassidic Jews, their large round hats, peyos side curls and dark clothing. A headline in bold white letters across the page poses the question “Will They be the only Jews left in 100 Years?” Against a black background slicing across the bottom we read that the “American Jewish University is a center of ingenuity and vision, dedicated to Pluralism in the open society.” It will insure a future for a dynamic Judaism.
The subliminal message is more portentous. We are the bastion of progressive ideas against the menacing and rising number of “ultra-Orthodox.” It’s our innovation that will chart the course for the future. We stand ready to stem the black hatted fundamentalist tide. [....]