Talk:Jews/infobox

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Previous discussions concerning this infobox may be found at Talk:Jews.

Comment on the photobox[edit]

I suggested removing the photobox last week here Avaya1 (talk) 12:30, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm glad you said you were only removing it "tentatively". I have put it back. This is in keeping with the WP:BRD approach. I think it is a very bad idea to remove the photomontage bodily, and especially not on account of your perception of shortcomings with it, or because it might be daunting to make it better. Any perceived shortcomings can be discussed, and possibly improved upon (and, by the way, that discussion belongs here, not there; discussion of the infobox had moved over to to this talk page some time ago). If you look back you will find that there have been lengthy discussions of whom to include in the photomontage, and a finely-tuned balance worked out with considerable effort. Still, I suppose there is always room for improvement. I believe it is the norm for WP articles on peoples to have such montages in their infoboxes, showing representative or notable individuals, and I see no reason for the article on the Jews to be excluded from that practice. A faceless text would be too impersonal. Hertz1888 (talk) 15:21, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with your OTHERSTUFF argument, since all the subsets of this category i.e. "British Jews", have got their own photoboxes, and those are the relevant comparison articles to "WP articles on people". This is not such an article. Other equivalent long-ranging, and international, religious categories, such as Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists, do not have a photobox. This photobox hasn't got a consensus on the talk pages, since the majority of comments mentioning it over the years object to it. It is really unrepresentative since all the figures are European and from the modern world. The latter point is quite important, since our pages on the ancient world, and even on the Monarchic period, link to this article quite often (if it's an ethnic category, it is implying that the ethnic group has been unchanged, which is not consistent with Ancient History, since in that period it changed quite a lot, for example in the Hasmonean Period - and if it's a religious category, then it shouldn't have a photobox), and the article itself also covers the ancient history. Avaya1 (talk) 18:25, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for helping initiate a discussion based on specific points. As explained in the article's hatnote and lede, the subject is the Jewish people as a people, though their religion is closely related, and not about a religious category, as you put it, so I don't think that parallel is valid. I think we have to treat it primarily as an ethnic category. Other than that, I don't wish to debate you, having largely stated my position. I think we should allow ample time to see who else shows up, and hear what they have to say, and then allow ample time for discussion. Your suggestion on the other talk page to delete the photobox did not expressly indicate a proposal or intention to do so, and the deletion may have caught others, like myself, by surprise. Hertz1888 (talk) 03:19, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
1. If we take it as an ethnicity, then the photobox isn't historically accurate, since it is in an article which is also used hyperlinked from articles on ancient history, and even in the ancient world the ethnicity of Jews varied across different time periods. For example between the Israelites of the Monarchic period, and the Judeans of the Hasmonean period, there was a change in ethnicity. 2. If we take the photobox merely as representing contemporary Jews, as an ethnic category, then it is extremely unrepresentative. Any such photobox, would have to presumably include a photo of a Yemeni Jew, an Iraqi Jew, an Indian Jew, an Ethiopian Jew, a Mountain Jew, a Berber Jew etc. Instead, we merely have photos of European Jews. Overall, the most sensible choice is surely to leave the photoboxes for the ethnic subcategories, and to treat this infobox in the same way as any of the other articles for religious groups, which don't have photoboxes. If you read the comments over the years, the vast majority of commentators seem to object to it. Avaya1 (talk) 23:55, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
1. Old Israelites like Moses and Abraham were not Jews but Israelites. Jews are obviously the direct decedents and only heirs of the Israelites, it’s proven by genetic tests, but there is still a difference. Don’t forget that the Israelites were actually many tribes, and most of them were lost. The ones which survived and eventually formed into the Jewish nation were the three tribes in the Kingdom of Judea (Judea, Shimon and Benyamin), all those three tribes intermixed and became Jews, and they are called Jews after the Judea tribe which was the biggest of the 3. That’s when the modern Jewish nation was formed! So saying that old Israelites like Abraham or Moses were Jews it’s like saying the kings of Rus were Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian. They were the ancestors, and the identity are obviously connected (in fact, one identities was an evolution of the another), but there is still a difference and a difference that should be clear. When putting someone in the collage it should be made sure the people in the collage should be those who actually belonged to the modern Jewish nation, which means those who also called themselves Jews.
2. We shouldn't do the division by countries but more simple: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi (right now the picture has 6 Ashkenazim 1 Sephardi and 1 Mizrahi, which is also the proportion between them in real life), while groups like Ethiopian and Indian Jews are very small so I don't think it's a big deal not to have their pictures. Guitar hero on the roof (talk) 19:23, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
I think you both are getting carried away with the usual nitpicking. I find these photo-boxes an embarrassment—this one no less so. An intellectual article is not necessarily helped by a picture. The presence of Albert Einstein, Maimonides, Golda Meir, and Emma Lazarus (present photo-box) is of no significance in relation to the article accompanying it. All that we see in the pictures is that they are human beings. In fact a Jew looks no different than a non-Jew. Just affixing an image to an article does not necessarily inform that article. I think the article would be improved by simply removing the photo-box. Bus stop (talk) 22:27, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I see merit in arguments from both sides. My personal opinion is that such a photobox is a common thing in encyclopedias, and that it makes the article look more attractive. Debresser (talk) 18:04, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
The issue is not the use of photoboxes in general (we have them for Polish Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews, Yemeni Jews, etc), but whether they can be used in this particular article and the redundancy when we have the other articles. Avaya1 (talk) 18:09, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I am sick and tired that no one brings the stereotypical "Jew" out of the water, coz as long he is in them, no one knows his looks. i say, enough showing humans labeled as "Jews" in black and white, UNyoung, and in sadness or simplicity. particular ignorants of the world, who lives in areas that in them there are no "Jews" and a "Jew" is nothing more than a "Zionist demon" which sometimes could be seen in TV as an enigmatic soldier, and (how not) villain, and that's it. The "Jews" of the world today, and of the world in the last 500 600 years at least, are a very biologically integrated group, what some call "Multiracial", and also the particular (lazy) ingnoratns of the world should also see that, in this article, through a colorful-when-possible, and at least "Fine", carefully selected Maximally-loyal portraits, and, Photographs of influencing "Jews" (in their fields), starting from Moses and Jesus, to Philo, Maimonides, Marx, Freud, Albert Einstein&Stanley Milgram,Benjamin Netanyahu, and many more, which whom all of u will choose. i also don't understand why there are in many times, ultra-morbid pictures of people here, and i speak generally now. peoples, when presented in an article, should appear in their best... thanks. 79.176.18.13 (talk) 01:14, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think thats the case. We shouldn't do the devision by countries but more simple: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi (right now the picture has 6 Ashkenazim 1 Sephardi and 1 Mizrahi, which is also the proportion between them in realy life), while groups like Ethiopian and Indian Jews are very small so I don't think it's a big deal not to have their pictures. Guitar hero on the roof (talk) 23:19, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I personally think the current selection is close to perfect. Sholem Aleichem, Marc Chagall and Albert Einstein are present on the Ashkenazi side, while Spinoza is present on the Sephardi side. Also, Natalie Portman is present which gives representation to modern Jews and Jews in cinema. 90.196.60.197 (talk) 08:09, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Name under each picture[edit]

In a recent edit Frietjes updated some technical aspects of the template, and also moved the names from under all the pictures to each name under its picture. I don't like that, and I have not seen so ordinarily done on Wikipedia. I have reverted his edit with the editsummary that he should first establish consensus for this change. I for one am against. Debresser (talk) 16:00, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

the common format for {{infobox ethnic group}} is either to (a) use a single representative image, or (b) generate a single montage image, or (c) to use the image array template (see image array). I see no reason for this instance of {{infobox ethnic group}} to be the only one to using a different format. as far as I can tell, this is the only instance using raw html markup. having the captions under the images improves accessibility, since the captions are grouped with the content. Frietjes (talk) 16:14, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
My problem is of course not with the technical way this template is created. But I do oppose the captions under the images, as I find it disturbing the overall picture. Debresser (talk) 19:37, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
and now we have a fifth row, making it even less accessible due to the distance between the images and the captions. Frietjes (talk) 16:48, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
That incomplete 5th row is definitely a bad idea. Will revert. :) Debresser (talk) 17:36, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Re-editing[edit]

Excuse me, but I think important figures like King David, David Ben-Gurion Judas Maccabaeus Ze'ev Jabotinsky and Avraham Stern as well as Eliezer ben Yehudah are notable figures in Jewish history, and I quite find them more important than Natalie Portman etc. mind you. I demand the people to stop erasing my edit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by אשכנזישעיידן (talkcontribs) 16:40, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is based on WP:CONSENSUS, not demands. As soon as you start respecting the opinions of other people, and the channels for establishing consensus (see WP:DISCUSSION), you are welcome to edit Wikipedia. Debresser (talk) 18:54, 17 August 2013 (UTC)
First of all, we don't have authentic pictures of Kind David and Judas Maccabeus (and we don't even know if King David existed). Second, Portman is an academy award winning actress, which means as a Jew in entertainment she is notable. Third, Abraham Stern?? Are you serious? The guy is not known outside of Israel, and in Israel he is popular only among far-right nationalists (controversially suggesting to fight on the side of Nazi Germany against the British). Same thing about Jabotinsky though to a lesser extent. Those selections are not here to make political points. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 08:45, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Region order[edit]

I thought the order for the regions was decreasing population, but apparently not? please explain why Ukraine and South Africa are out of order. Frietjes (talk) 23:18, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Fixed. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:16, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks also for the correct editsummary, Malik. Debresser (talk) 09:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Answer[edit]

copied here from my talkpage The real crime would be the absolute ignorance of this article about important Jews in history! Albert Einstein, Maimonides, Franz Kafka and Baruch Spinoza are important figures. Yet, is Natalie Portman, with all of the respect really, one of the most important Jewish figures in Jewish history? Emily Noether is an interesting yet unknown figure. Yet historic necessities like David, Hezekiah, Judas Maccabaeus, David Ben-Gurion, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Zeev Jabotinsky, Avraham Stern, and Mordechai Anielewicz are being ignored completely?

A) All of the above are Jews B) All of the above are important historic figures

What the hell, sorry for the language, is offensive/incorrect about noting them as important Jews? אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 15:21, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree, as would anybody, that there are many more important Jews than those in the template. But we have to make a selection. And that selection is based not only on importance. We try, for example, to have a balance in the number of men and women, Ashkenazi and Sefaradi, and the various fields of life. So the inclusion of let's say Natalie Portman over Kafka might be justified because we want a contemporary actor in the infobox, rather then a writer who lived almost 100 years ago.
What we do not want is too large a template. Four rows is too much, imho. But feel free to try and obtain consensus that 4 rows is better than 2 rows if you so feel. Just know, that without discussion, leading to consensus, you will never get anything done on Wikipedia. This is a community based on WP:5 pillars, which include consensus as he main decisive process. Debresser (talk) 17:39, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Totally agree! 00:12, 20 September 2013 (UTC)2.124.14.197 (talk)

I suggest that the photobox will have 4 rows rather than 2, or shall we make the pictures smaller and add more people. Since I believe it misses a lot of, according to my subjective view, much more important than some, if not most of the people in the photobox. As well as I would like to replace Natalie Portman and Emmy Noether, I find Natalie Portman not an important figure, and Emmy Noether is pretty much an unknown figure. The people I want to add:

  • Eliezer Ben-Yehuda-The main contributor to Modern Hebrew
  • Mordechai Anielewicz-Leader of the Warsaw-Ghetto uprising
  • David-King of Judah and Israel for 40 years, started the House of David which ruled for 424 years, according to the prophecy the messiah would be his descendant.
  • David Ben-Gurion-First Prime-Minister of Israel and head of the Haganah
  • Theodore Herzl-Founder of Zionism
  • Judas Maccabaeus-Leader of the Hasmonean revolt after his father Mattathias
  • Avraham Stern-Head of the Lehi
  • Zeev Jabotinsky-Founder of Revisionist Zionism, head of Beitar and Irgun
  • Hezekiah-The king who managed to defeat the Assyrian Empire, thanks to him we exist and didn't disappear like the Northern Kingdom.
  • Haim Nachman Bialik-National poet of Israel

So my suggests: 1. 4 rows/3 rows with smaller pictures 2. Replacing Emmy Noether and Natalie Portman with Mordechai Anielewicz and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda/Or maybe both can exist if the pictures were smaller 3. Agreeing that the figures I mentioned are important and worthy of being shown in the photobox — Preceding unsigned comment added by אשכנזישעיידן (talkcontribs) 09:55, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Keep it 8 pictures (to prevent it from being too dense), and in my view, keep the current selection. Your suggestions, to be fair, are in my opinion totally inappropriate. About King David, Hezkiah and Judah Maccabee.. you can't put an image in the collage which is not an authentic image (and not less important, we don't even know if King David or Hezkiah really existed).
About Stern... unknown outside Israel, and even in Israel considered a very controversial figure (being popular mostly among the nationalist ultra-right), same thing to a lesser extent applies to Jabotinsky. I don't see why you are trying to push controversial figures like those two into the collage, it's not about making a point or a political statement.
Other figures you suggested, though notable, in my opinion are not as notable as those already in the collage. Bialik is not as notable in world literature as Kafka and Sholem Aleichem (and we already have writers in the collage), Ben Gurion is actually a good suggestion but I don't see who he can push out (especially because we can't reduce the amount of Sephardi's or women in the collage), and Ben Yehuda... again, not really known outside Israel.
Some of the suggestions you made though would apply better to the Israeli Jews article. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 00:10, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
I think the infobox looks fine with eight pictures. If you want to add somebody, my preference would be substitute a new image for one of the existing images. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:24, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Is it okay to replace Natalie Portman with king David?אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 18:43, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Replacing the picture of either of the two women would further lower the female:male ratio (presently 1:3) to only 1:7. Maintaining some gender balance has been of concern here in the past, and I think that is a good idea. We might consider replacing Spinoza, as we already have at least one other philosopher included. As the image of King David is very indistinct, a better candidate might be Mordechai Anielewicz. I too favor eight pictures as a desirable number and limit. Hertz1888 (talk) 20:39, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Then I'd replace him with Ben Gurion, whose is a lot more famous, and looks distinctive. Debresser (talk) 22:33, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Our friend אשכנזישעייד gave a high priority to Anielewicz and Ben-Yehuda. That, among other things, prompted me to choose one of those. No objection to Ben-Gurion. Hertz1888 (talk) 01:59, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I suggest replacing Natalie Portman with Golda Meir who was a strong leader of Israel. That way there is representation from current state of Israel and with female gender and could be used instead of David Ben-Gurion --Samuelled (talk) 16:41, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I believe Golda Meir wouldn't do justice to the female gender since she is mostly known as the Prime Minister who ignored completely the coming Yom Kippur War which at the beginning (when she was Prime-Minister) it was the worst war for Israel. I mean, this is a possibility and I don't oppose it but it seems to be not the best idea. For the female gender there are women who are considered heroes, like Deborah, Salome Alexandra.... But I still put David Ben-Gurion and King David at higher priorityאשכנזישעיידן (talk) 20:14, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Do we have a picture of King David that is authentic? I didn't think so. Besides, I think we need to choose between characters who definitely existed (and not under dispute like King David). 2.124.14.197 (talk) 00:00, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

So we replace Spinoza by Ben Gurion. Let's give it 24 hours to see if anybody is against. אשכנזישעיידן, will you do the honors after that? Debresser (talk) 23:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I see there's no opposition of replacing Natalie Portman with David Ben-Gurion. Did it. אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 18:51, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I oppose this change. The proposal was to replace Spinoza, not Portman. And it hasn't been 24 hours. Hertz1888 (talk) 18:58, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Right on both accounts. Debresser (talk) 19:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Fixed. אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 19:41, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm totally against any changes to the current selection. Replacing Spinoza with Ben Gurion? Right now in the selection there are 6 Ashkenazi Jews and 2 Sephardi, which is fare when you think of the fact that most Jews are Ashkenazi. Having only one Sephardi (which is what will happen by replacing Spinoza with Ben Gurion) is underrepresenting Sephardis. Also, Spinoza is much more known and influential in the world than Ben Gurion. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 23:56, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
About Portman... she is a woman, which is important for the collage, and an academy award winning actress (which means a good representative for Jews in entertainment). 2.124.14.197 (talk) 23:57, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Including Jesus[edit]

I suggest that the picture of Jesus be included, as Jesus is by far the most influential and most famous Jew who ever lived. Billions of population around the world relate to Jesus. Including Jesus picture would make those people able to relate to Jewish people. --Samuelled (talk) 14:45, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

I think that even though he definitely was a Jew, nevertheless this idea is best not implemented. Debresser (talk) 18:18, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
No, it won't work. And there is also a Jewish religious opposition to that, which view Jesus as a false messiah and a creator of a cult that turned to Christianity later. אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 20:18, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean 'it won't work'? And yes there is opposition to Jesus from some orthodox Jewish people it terms of Jesus' being Messiah, but I think most of them would agree to that him being a influential and famous Jew, like Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who wrote Kosher Jesus and the growing number of Messianic Jews. And for an encyclopedic document, showing him as a Jew would broaden the comprehensiveness of the content. And the pictures should be selected based on him/her being a Jew and should mostly be neutral about their religious or political affiliations or leanings. --Samuelled (talk) 15:22, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
As an Atheist Jew, I deeply oppose it because Jesus is and was many times a symbol of the antisemitic pogroms "in the name of Jesus" of some angry Gentiles "avenging Jesus' death". אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 19:59, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
That is exactly why I said it is important to include Jesus. For centuries Jews have been alienating Jesus as one of them and some Gentiles (anti-semites) are using this to promote their hatred. Having Jesus as shown as a Jew can help Jews and gentile Christians relate to each other. --Samuelled (talk) 21:58, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
And why would we at Wikipedia make that one of our goals? Still think it is a bad idea. To be more precise: A Bad idea. Debresser (talk) 23:08, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
So do I, if for no other reason than that this discussion itself demonstrates how controversial such an inclusion would be. Hertz1888 (talk) 00:31, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Not a bad idea, but impossible due to two reasons:

  • We don't have an authentic painting of how he looks, all guesses and imagination of the creators.
  • He probably didn't even exist, which is a very important fact. Usually mythological characters are not appearing in collages. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 23:53, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Why all modern?[edit]

Well, I'll get to the point. All the Jews in the Infobox are modern Jews, but there are many ancient Jews which aren't represented in the Infobox. אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 20:03, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

There should indeed be at least 1 or 2 Jews from older periods. That makes sense. Perhaps indeed the Rambam. Debresser (talk) 17:20, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
I think Judas Maccabaeus, King David, King Hezekiah, Alexander Janneus might be candidates.אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 15:41, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
I'd prefer people with more of a picture. :) Debresser (talk) 19:07, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Ancient people don't have pictures.אשכנזישעיידן (talk) 22:14, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
That was my point precisely. Which is why I prefer the Rambam. Debresser (talk) 23:00, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

There are two reasons why that is impossible:

  • Even though modern Jews are the direct descendants of ancient Israelis, ancient Israelis didn't call themselves Jews, due to the fact the word Yehudim referred only to those from the tribe of Judea.
  • We don't have authentic pictures/paintings of ancient Israelis. What we have are late interpretations of how they might have looked. Also, many of them probably didn't exist, so those two arguments also explain while Hercules is not on the selection for Greeks. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 23:50, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Transclusion over hardcoding[edit]

The reason I restored the transclusion of this template, rather than have it hardcoded in the only article using it, nl. Jews, is that this template has a lot of edits in its own right, and we do not need to mix them into the edits of the article proper. Debresser (talk) 18:35, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

It is also currently the only ethnic group infobox (out of over 4000) that hasn't been merged with the article. Frietjes (talk) 16:27, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
For an orderly person like me that is a strong argument for hardcoding. But we do have a lot of discussions here. Hard to decide. Debresser (talk) 22:52, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
if you want to save the edit history and talk page history, just move the template to a subpage of the article (e.g., Jews/summary), and redirect it to the article. or if you are only concerned about the talk page, then just move that to a subpage of the article talk. this is what was done with several of them post deletion. Frietjes (talk) 17:16, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Other pages don't get so many racist vandalism cases like the Jews page does, but the template is usually unharmed because the vandals don't know how to get to it. Also, for whatever reason, the Jews template has more discussions about it than other templates, and keeping it in a separate page helps not to have too many discussions on the Jews place. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 17:47, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

I think it's good to keep the template in a separate article. The Jews and Template:Jews pages have a lot of discussions and arguments, so that helps not to load to many discussions on one page (which would make it harder to follow). Also, people who come to vandalize the Jews article usually keep the template untouched because they don't know how to get to it. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 00:20, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Also, people who want to edit the template without discussion first usually have to go through the process of asking on the Jews talk page "why can't I edit the template?", where they are being told "you need to discuss it first", so it prevents pointless reverts and edit wars. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 17:47, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
yes, we should keep IPs and new users from touching the template by adding semiprotection. Frietjes (talk) 18:07, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
And the point would be...? Some new users or IP users have more knowledge and experience than most registered "old" users have. Also, allowing only registered users to edit will in some way damage the idea of a free encyclopedia. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 19:29, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
exactly, and obfuscation of the source of content is also damaging to the idea of a free encyclopedia. the infobox should be merged with the article, like it is for every other article using {{infobox ethnic group}}. I see no compelling argument why this one is significantly different than the thousands of others. Frietjes (talk) 22:38, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
First of all, the argument "everyone else does it" is not always a relevant argument. Different pages have different criteria's to enter the collage, for example, because they decide different things on the talk page. Second, having the template in a different page doesn't damage the free editing principle, it just prevents people from editing it without discussion because when asking about it on the Jews talk page users who think they can edit it without discussion get told that they have to discuss (templates are so sensitive on Wikipedia and have so much discussions around them, it's good to prevent edits without discussion). 2.124.14.197 (talk) 08:23, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

You can't replace Spinoza with Ben Gurion[edit]

There are 2 Sephardis and 6 Ashkenazis in the current collage, which makes sense when you think about the number of Ashkenazis and Sephardis world wide. You can't replace Spinoza, a Sephardi, with Ben Gurion, and Ashkenazi, because it violates that balance. I'm not even talking about the fact that Spinoza is a more notable and influencial persona!

The latest discussion which "decided" to do that change had only 3 people involved, and was too quick to actually seriously consider the consequences. If you want to put Ben Gurion in - it has to be instead of an Ashkenazi male! 2.124.14.197 (talk) 18:37, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

If you want to the include Ben Gurion, I think it should be instead of a writer because we have two writers in the collage, Sholem Aleichem and Kafka. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 18:40, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
careful, you have already been issued a warning for edit warring, so you should avoid editing the template for the near future. Frietjes (talk) 18:43, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps this IP editor would stop telling us what me can/cannot/must/mustnot do, and adopt a style of argument and proposal. That would be so much more pleasant. Debresser (talk) 16:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I do not think Spinoza is better know or even more influential than Ben Gurion. I do agree that it would be nice to have another Sepharadi in the template. Perhaps indeed change one of the two writers, as the IP editor "proposed". Debresser (talk) 16:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I never heard of Emmy Noether. Perhaps we could leave Spinoza, and change her for Golda Meir, who is something like Ben Gurion (notable and well-known modern Israeli politician). Debresser (talk) 16:54, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I think we need Noether because we don't have much women in the collage, but I agree with you Spinoza is much more notable than Ben Gurion. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 22:54, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
we should keep Emmy Noether, described as the "most important woman in the history of mathematics". Frietjes (talk) 17:14, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Even that epithet doesn't mean we must have her here. We Jews have produced many notable and famous people, and plausibly another 8 more notable and famous than her. Debresser (talk) 23:50, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Fair point, however, I don't think the collage is just about notability but also about representation. That's why in the discussion above it was decided to keep Portman, to represent women and represent the entertainment sector. I think Spinoza should replace an Ashkenazi male. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 23:01, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

I suggest to replace Kafka or Ben Gurion with Spinoza. Kafka is a great writer, and much more notable person that Ben Gurion in my opinion, but we have 2 writers in the collage already (and in my opinion getting rid of Sholem Aleichem is not an option). I still think though it's smarter to replace Ben Gurion with Spinoza, simply by the notability criteria.

I remind we can't replace women because we don't have much of them already in the collage.

Spinoza is a must, simply because he is the most famous Jewish philosopher ever (one of the most famous ones in general), and he is a Sephardi and we can't have a Jews picture with only one Sephardi. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 22:54, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Statistically, Ashkenazi Jews make up about 75% of the entire Jewish population and have undoubtedly been more notable and influential than their fellow Sephardi/Mizrahi brothers, and so that's happening in this collage. However, I entirely agree with you that Baruch Spinoza should be included in the current collage, and therefore I'm proposing what I think would be the best solution: Why don't we expand the current collage to, say, 14 people (which is exactly 1 Jew for every 1 million Jews on earth)? Yambaram (talk) 11:41, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Don't forget that this is a template, we should have 2 rows of 4 or 3 rows of 3. I can live with 9 people. Debresser (talk) 17:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh I didn't know that, are you sure templates limited only to 8-9 people? Can't we create something like the one to the right side in this article? If not, let's just add Spinoza.. Yambaram (talk) 21:17, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Not all templates are limited, but in an old discussion it was agreed that i's better not to allow the collage to blow up too much. People tried adding another line and were reverted on the base they were violating that consensus. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 07:33, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I get what you mean, but don't forget, in that template representation is as important as notability, therefore it is important to give the right amount of representation. The size thing was discussed in the past, and it was decided it's not good to over-load it and make it too big. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 22:03, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

So from the discussion, it seems like we have 2 options:

  • Add Spinoza and have a 9 people collage (3 lines of 3).
  • Replace an existing Ashkenazi male with Spinoza (my suggestion, Kafka. Please mention who your suggestion is, in case you support that option).

Which one should we choose? 2.124.14.197 (talk) 22:03, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

I personally prefer the second option, with Kafka the one being replaced. The reason is because we have two writers in the collage. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 07:31, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I think we should turn it into a collage of 9 and then add Spinoza - whether to replace Kafka with someone else or not that's a different story, though I'm also favor of doing that. So we have a consensus here? Yambaram (talk) 11:26, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I think we should wait to hear what Debresser has to say, but I think we have a consensus on the topic. I will do it later on today :-)Glad the issue is resolved! 2.124.14.197 (talk) 13:38, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Summary[edit]

In summary: Following the latest discussion (and the past discussions), it was decided that from now on the collage will be 9 pictures in 3 rows (before that it was 8 pictures in 2 rows).

The selection now is:

Having 7 Ashkenazis and 2 Sephardis/Mizrahis, we achieved a balance close to the real balance between Ashkenazis and Sephardis (per principle: representation as important as notability). Also, the collage gives representation to a big array of areas/occupations (science, literature, arts, philosophy, entertainment), which is also really good for representation.. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 13:55, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Good job, thanks. Now it seems like we just need to keep this template alive... By the way, I'd suggest you to consider creating a Wikipedia account since you're quite active here and it's simply better having one, from many aspects. - Yambaram (talk) 00:52, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for giving me so much credit. I have no problem with the edit. I am glad that we found a solution that satisfies all. Debresser (talk) 02:02, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
To be fair, it looks better now! And Ben Gurion does make sense to be in the collage to represent the leadership of the state of Israel. 2.124.14.197 (talk) 08:28, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
It does look better, and it does make sense, agreed. Debresser (talk) 10:23, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you :-) I actually have an account, User:Sunderland against Di Canio. I just don't bother login in, but I make sure not to use my account and IP on the same page to make sure people don't think I'm trying to cheat by using "two voices". 2.124.14.197 (talk) 08:28, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Very wise of you. Debresser (talk) 10:23, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Problematic source[edit]

First, I cited this source but it was removed and I think it's reliable, anyone agrees? The other bigger issue is that the current website used as the main source for this article doesn't open. I'm talking about this: http://www.jewishdatabank.org/Reports/World_Jewish_Population_2012.pdf, it says "Authentication Reuired". Help? Thanks. Yambaram (talk) 02:27, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Evidently they reorganized their site. The study is here and the PDF is here. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 02:45, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Okay good thanks for fixing. And why do you think the other source given by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs isn't reliable? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yambaram (talkcontribs) 09:54, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
It's an opinion column, and therefore not a reliable source. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:38, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

English as the predominant language[edit]

CONSENSUS THAT ENGLISH IS THE LINGUA FRANCA BUT THAT THIS FACT WAS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR INCLUSION IN THE ARTICLE INFOBOX:
Through the use of multiple reliable sources it was clearly established without effective rebuttal that English may properly be considered the current lingua franca of the Jews.

It was argued that this adoption of English was a defining feature of the modern experience of Jewishness and that this non-trivial fact should be foregrounded in the article infobox.

Others countered, however, that to place it there as a bald statement of fact would appear to grant English an undue prominence as a defining feature in the encyclopedic presentation of Jews even though its use as a common language has been geographically and historically contingent rather than expressing any essential or informative characteristic of Jewish identity. Its inclusion in the infobox, it was said, would also distort and obscure the presentation of the historic and current relationship of Jews to other languages such as Hebrew and Yiddish. It was also argued that to designate English as the Jewish lingua franca in the article infobox would be confusing to readers and that it needed a lengthier and contextualised treatment in the main body of the article.

The result of the discussion was that although English could be considered the current lingua franca of the Jewish people this fact, while suitable for contextualised treatment in the article, should not be placed in the article infobox.(non-admin closure) FiachraByrne (talk) 02:38, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • "In contrast to other peoples who are masters of their national languages, Hebrew is not the 'common possession' of all Jewish people, and it mainly—if not exclusively—lives and breathes in Israel. . . . Although there are oases of Hebrew in certain schools, it has not become the Jewish lingua franca and English is rapidly taking its place as the Jewish people's language of communication. Even Hebrew-speaking Israeli representatives tend to use English in their public appearances at international Jewish conventions."[1]
  • "This priority given to English is related to . . . the current status of English as a lingua franca for Jews worldwide."[2]
  • "As recently as the beginning of the present century, many Jews within the framework of their own educational system possessed sufficient knowledge of Hebrew to study the classic literature, and the People as a whole, in their major components, used their self-created vernaculars of Yiddish and Ladino. Today, most Jews lack such knowledge and the Jewish People has relinquished its vernacular. There have been two major results. In the first place, English has in fact become the most common language of the Jews. It is the mother tongue for the majority of world Jewry and a secondary language for growing numbers in the other countries where Jews live."[3]
  • "English has superseded Yiddish as the Jewish lingua franca . . ."[4]
  • "In order for a Jew from one country to talk to another who speaks a different language, it is more common to use English than Hebrew." Jewish Languages - How Do We Talk To Each Other?
  • "Although in this era, many academic conferences in Israel are held in the Jewish lingua franca, English." [5]
  • "[T]he emergence of English as the language of universal Jewish discourse has had effects not only on the Diaspora but on Israeli Hebrew culture as well." [6] (p. 299)
  • "It is English rather than Hebrew that emerged as the lingua franca of the Jews towards the end of the 20th century."[7]
  • "English is the language of universal Jewish discourse. . . . [T]he natural inclination is to conduct practically all Jewish discourse in English."[8]
    • Contra The Armenians. [9] ("For Armenians who live in the diaspora, language is more than a means of communication. It is a link to the larger Armenian family, a cohesive symbol of identity. . . . Armenians traveling overseas or in the United States communicate easily because of the shared language.") --Precision123 (talk) 00:09, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

English has become the dominant language of the worldwide Jewish community. Over half of the world's Jews live in countries where English is the primary language,[10][11] and in the country with the second largest Jewish population (i.e., Israel), it maintains de facto status as an official, second language, in large part because it is the language used to communicate with Jews worldwide.[1][2][3][4]These facts indicate that English is by far the most commonly spoken language among world Jews, and is the language used for communication between world Jewish communities. About 9 out of 10 Jews live in a country where English has a role as an official language, de jure or de facto, and the infobox ought to reflect that. Despite the cultural significance of Hebrew (which, by and large, is not spoken by Jews outside of Israel to any extent), no other language comes close. It is the main, and in fact, the exclusive language of every worldwide Jewish organization, including the World Jewish Congress--in addition to the European Jewish Congress. Conferences of both groups (representing Jewish communities of every country in the world in the former case) are conducted solely in English. All of the organizations' official documents, publications, etc. are likewise in English (and almost always in English only). Indeed, English is today the lingua franca for Jews worldwide.[5]

Despite this, one user has unfortunately been disrupting this page. The editor appeared to have misread one of the sources. The editor mistakenly believed that the source said that English is the lingua franca of Israel.[12] This is not the case, as the source clearly states it is the lingua franca of Jews worldwide. The editor appears to disagree, but has not shown any reliable sources that either (a) disagree with the sources above, or (b) offer support for the editor's claims. The edit has instead only been offering his/her original research in the edit summaries. I kindly ask that the editor cease this activity. --Precision123 (talk) 17:01, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Spolsky, Bernard (1999). Round Table on Language and Linguistics. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. pp. 169–70. ISBN 0-87840-132-6. In spite of this, official language use has maintained a de facto role for English, after Hebrew but before Arabic. 
  2. ^ Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot, Hava (2004). "Part I: Language and Discourse". In Diskin Ravid, Dorit; Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot, Hava. Perspectives on Language and Development: Essays in Honor of Ruth A. Berman. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 90. ISBN 1-4020-7911-7. English is not considered official but it plays a dominant role in the educational and public life of Israeli society. ... It is the language most widely used in commerce, business, formal papers, academia, and public interactions, public signs, road directions, names of buildings, etc. English behaves 'as if' it were the second and official language in Israel. 
  3. ^ Shohamy, Elana (2006). Language Policy: Hidden Agendas and New Approaches. Routledge. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-415-32864-0. In terms of English, there is no connection between the declared policies and statements and de facto practices. While English is not declared anywhere as an official language, the reality is that it has a very high and unique status in Israel. It is the main language of the academy, commerce, business, and the public space. 
  4. ^ Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics
  5. ^ Shohamy, Elana (2010). "Chapter 11: Cases of Language Policy Resistance in Israel's Centralized Education System". In Menken, Kate; García, Ofelia. Negotiating Language Policies in Schools: Educators as Policymakers. New York: Routledge. p. 185. ISBN 0-415-80207-5. This priority given to English [in Israeli educational policy] is related to the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and the current status of English as a lingua franca for Jews worldwide. 
First of all, the only official languages in Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. Contrary to popular misconception, English is not an official language of the State of Israel.
No, dear editor, I do understand that the statement is not limited to Israel. This was just for general information.
Even if some source would say that English is lingua franca, I am still sorry to say it is not. As a Jew who has been in many places, including the USA, Israel and West and Eastern Europe, I can tell you that I have seen Yiddish used as a lingua franca more than English.
The book stating that English is a lingua franca is searching for explanations where none have to be sought. English is studied as the second most important language in every country I have lived in where it is not the first language, because it is a world-wide lingua franca (for lack of a better word). If anything, that and the fact that the last foreign country occupying Israel was England, are the two obvious reasons that English is so popular in Israel (no more popular than in any other country in Europe).
I agree the statement is sourced, but it is also obviously not true. In view of that fact, and of the fact that the edit is a rather large claim and additionally that it comes to change a consensus text of quite some time, I insists that this source can not be used and the statement should be excluded from the template. Debresser (talk) 16:29, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
(1) English has de facto official status in Israel, not de jure. That was clear above. I am sorry if you misunderstood that.
(2) This second point is original research. It is clear though that Yiddish has lost its status as a lingua franca for world Jews. It is true that it was once a lingua franca for European Jews, but this is no longer the case, as the only communities in which it remains are pockets of ultra-Orthodox communities.
(3) I am not sure what you mean by "searching for explanations when none have to be sought," but it also amounts to original research. Whatever the rationale is that you try to explain, it is irrelevant: it is clear that English is popularly used in Israel. (This is really only a subsidiary point anyway.) The real issue here is the fact that English is not just a common language of Jews, but rather the primary language spoken by a whopping majority of Jews worldwide. It is the main language of communication. No other language comes close. It is true that English is also the common lingua franca, but note that English has no such status among the Armenian, French, Lebanese or other diasporas or worldwide communities. There is really no dispute here, as it is a question of reliable sources versus original research. --Precision123 (talk) 22:38, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I am not impressed with the source. One reason is that it mentions some special relationship between America and Israel as a reason for the predominance of English in Israeli education. I have no idea which special relationship, and as I already mentioned above, there are simpler reasons for the predominance of English in Israeli education, which I have suggested above. This may be original research, and that is why I am not proposing to write about these reasons in the article, but it does cast a serious doubt in my opinion on the source. I would like to see another source, with unrelated arguments or research to confirm this conclusion. The statement is a strong one, that a certain language is the lingua franca among a certain ethnicity, especially if that language is not related to that ethnicity per se, and I think a better source is needed. Debresser (talk) 08:06, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry you are not impressed with the source—that does not make it any less reliable. The source is not used to cite the "reasons" that you have issues with, but rather is sourcing the status and predominance the language enjoys (whatever the reason). This is undisputed, and the source shall remain. --Precision123 (talk) 15:35, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
I have shown that there are reasonable doubts as to the reliability of this source. Also, the claim in case was not the subject of the source, rather the claim was made as a side point, to explain something else. And the claim is exceptional (see Wikipedia:EXCEPTIONAL). If you can not find a second source, more explicitly discussing the issue, saying the same thing, this can not stay. Debresser (talk) 16:51, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
Your arguments are a stretch. They go from misreading the quotations at hand to claiming that, in your personal experience, Yiddish is the lingua franca of world Jews. (Those days are long gone.) You claim that you "have shown reasonable doubts as to the reliability of this source." You have done no such thing. That requires reliable sources. You have only offered your original research. Furthermore, absolutely none of the factors under WP:EXCEPTIONAL exist here--not even to the slightest. I am sorry if you personally disagree with the reliable sources at hand.
Last, it appears that you did not realize that there are two sources that that are supporting the statement. Please see the sources. While I appreciate good faith discussion, this has crossed the line into ridiculousness, and I will probably not respond to further comments. --Precision123 (talk) 19:52, 15 October 2013 (UTC)
1. A good argument is not invalid because it is original research. Original research is a problem when used to make Wikipedia article text, not when using logic in a real discussion on a talkpage. 2. Your highhandedness is not appreciated. 3. More to the point: I have shown that the source's issue is not the same issue as the claim in case, which was made as a side-point to be a possible explanation of something else. 4. I have shown that other, more logical explanations exist and that, in fact, the initial question the source was answering, is not much of a question at all. 5. The claim that English, which is not a historical language of the Jewish people, should be a world-wide lingua franca of the Jews, is exceptional. 6. You try to change a consensus version and have burden of proof. Your edit and the source you bring are challenged seriously. Ergo, your edit should be reverted. Debresser (talk) 08:44, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
It still appears that you do not realize there are two sources. --Precision123 (talk) 15:36, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The second source does not claim that English is the lingua franca, just that it is not Hebrew. I am fine with that, because imho there is no lingua franca. The fact that English is spoken at conferences, is not because it is lingua franca, but because one has to choose some language after all. Debresser (talk) 16:13, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
It said that English has taken Hebrew's place and is now "the Jewish people's language of communication." (As to the example about conventions, it is an example to illustrate aforementioned point. It is absolutely true that "one has to choose one language after all." Which language does one choose? Not Hebrew, but rather the language that makes communication possible, i.e., the lingua franca.) --Precision123 (talk) 23:29, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
I just wanted to offer the same suggestion, since the two of us (Precision123 and me) fighting over it, doesn't seem to reach any consensus. Debresser (talk) 16:13, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Just for clarity:

  • "In contrast to other peoples who are masters of their national languages, Hebrew is not the 'common possession' of all Jewish people, and it mainly—if not exclusively—lives and breathes in Israel. . . . Although there are oases of Hebrew in certain schools, it has not become the Jewish lingua franca and English is rapidly taking its place as the Jewish people's language of communication. Even Hebrew-speaking Israeli representatives tend to use English in their public appearances at international Jewish conventions."[13]
  • "This priority given to English is related to . . . the current status of English as a lingua franca for Jews worldwide."[14]
  • "Today, most Jews lack such knowledge [of Hebrew] and the Jewish People has relinquished its vernacular. There have been two major results. In the first place, English has in fact become the most common language of the Jews. It is the mother tongue for the majority of world Jewry and a secondary language for growing numbers in the other countries where Jews live."[15]
  • "English has superseded Yiddish as the Jewish lingua franca . . ."[16]

--Precision123 (talk) 16:18, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

This last source is very clear. But the link you gave is not. Could you give a reference with a page number, rather than a Google description that does not include the quote you claim is there. Debresser (talk) 17:52, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
All the sources are very clear. They are all very reliable. All links direct to the relevant page. Thank you. --Precision123 (talk) 17:59, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Source 1 does not claim that English is lingua franca, source 2 is not acceptable as I have shown above. As to source 4, I repeat my request to give a more precise reference than a general Google description of the book. Debresser (talk) 19:33, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
As to source 1, please read the definition of "lingua franca" and please re-read the passage. As to source 2, it is 100% acceptable. (Your personal-belief claims above are not true, and even if they were, would not negate the reliability of this source.) As to source 4, I am not sure what you are speaking of. The book is Awake and Singing.
Keep in mind, you only asked for a second source. It appears that you are trying to challenge any reliable source based on your personal beliefs. --Precision123 (talk) 19:44, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Can you please give a page number from Awake and Singing? I do not see the line you quote ("English has superseded Yiddish as the Jewish lingua franca . . .") on the link you provided. Debresser (talk) 20:40, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
You are kindly requested not to confuse logic and experience with personal beliefs. In general, keep your posts to the issue, not to the person. Debresser (talk) 20:45, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
The article says: "A lingua franca...is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue" [emphasis added]. So English would not be the Jews' lingua france, because many or most Jews do share English as a common mother tongue. -- Ypnypn (talk) 20:31, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

That is absolutely correct, Ypnypn. It says "among people not sharing a mother tongue"—not "among people mostly not sharing a mother tongue." Worldwide Jews do not share a mother tongue. There is though a prevailing, dominant common tongue, and this language is the one primarily used to communicate with Jews worldwide. All cited sources say this.

And while "many or most Jews do share English as a common mother tongue," it is not shared among all Jews as a mother tongue. Rather it is the preferred and main language of communication of the world Jewish community, without regard to whether it is a mother tongue for a subgroup within that population. While your quote is correct, the logic you apply to it is not. A lingua franca need not be the mother tongue of a minority of the population in question (as your comment suggests). For example, if an American businesswoman and a Chinese businesswoman conduct negotiations together, and their working relationship is conducted in English, the lingua franca used is considered English, even though for half of the parties (one of two) it is her mother tongue. The case would be no different if the situation involved, for example, two American businesspeople and a Chinese businesswoman.

The whole point here is that English is predominant language and lingua franca of the Jews today: it is, by far, the most commonly shared language of the world Jews, and the one used to communicate between them. --Precision123 (talk) 22:22, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

English is not a "lingua franca" of Jews except coincidentally. The use of English by Jews is simply a function of the countries in which Jews live. An Infobox entry "Lingua franca: English" is not supported strongly enough by sources. That Infobox entry is a pointed and emphatic statement. Sources don't support a statement remotely as emphatic as the one suggested for inclusion in the Infobox. We would need a source pointedly supporting an assertion to that effect. Unsurprisingly we don't have that. Bus stop (talk) 22:45, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Whether it is "coincidental" or not does not change its status — the fact that it is the most commonly shared language and the preferred language used for communication between Jews worldwide. (This is not the case for every ethnic or religious group in the world.) If this status is a consequence of (a) where most Jews live, and (b) the priority given to English in the other countries where Jews live, so be it. That may very well be the case. It does not make the statement any less true. As to a source "pointedly supporting an assertion to the effect," all the sources cited indicate that fact in clear terms. How much clearer could they be? The first cited source indeed seems "emphatic" to that effect, as they emphasize their point with examples. If one language is especially common and shared, the infobox ought to reflect that.
As to whether that is required for inclusion in that manner in the infobox, note that no other language listed in the infobox even has "sources pointed supporting an assertion" to any effect in which it is categorized. Indeed, this is the only one that is sourced. If this is a question about word choice, would you prefer "main language of communication"? --Precision123 (talk) 22:55, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
This just in from the Jewish Agency, in their article Jewish Languages - How Do We Talk To Each Other?: "In order for a Jew from one country to talk to another who speaks a different language, it is more common to use English than Hebrew."[17] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Precision123 (talkcontribs)
I'm afraid I have to agree with Precision123 on this issue.
  • If there is one language that Jews worldwide have a right to claim as a mother tongue, it is Hebrew—even if many of us don't master it as a spoken language.
  • I suspect Hebrew is often the lingua franca among religious Jews, in Europe, and among Sefardim.
  • Yiddish, the mamaloshen, is no longer a lingua franca for Jews under the age of about 65-70 except in certain Chassidic communities (and maybe the diamond industry).
  • English is the only true lingua franca that includes everyone. This may well be accidental, either because so many Jews live in Anglophone countries, or because English is the lingua franca of the gantze oilam (greater world) we all live in.
To me, the only real question is this: Does it belong in the infobox? I'm not sure that English is any more (or less) the lingua franca for Jews as for anyone else in the world. But if there is to be a lingua franca in the infobox, it certainly must be English. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:35, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
All this should be addressed in the body of an article. The proposed addition is a misuse of an Infobox. Sources do not place emphasis on the widespread use of English, and for good reason—it is only used for convenience. Jews are going to speak whatever language is most convenient. This is a Template concerning Jews in particular. English is widely spoken by many people around the world. That Jews also speak English is hardly surprising. Infoboxes lend themselves to misuse. The suggested entry—"Lingua franca: English"—places importance on the widespread use of English by Jews. But no source is attributing importance to the use of English by Jews. The suggested entry in the Infobox is similar to a sound bite used out of context. Its brevity misleads the reader into thinking that there is a reason for this, when the reason is extrinsic to Jews. This is just one in a long list of misuses of Infoboxes. This is a topic that can and should be explored. But the proper area is the prose text of the body of an article, where suitable language can be chosen. Bus stop (talk) 15:53, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Busstop and StevenJ81. This is good material for the article itself, but nor for the infobox. There is no intrinsic connection between English and Jews. Debresser (talk) 18:32, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Break[edit]

Thank you. With all due respect to Busstop, this is an additional burden to WP:RS and WP:V where one does not exist. Debresser said time again that a second source would suffice and now seems to increase this threshold for reliable sources. I will address your comments individually:

  • "Jews are going to speak whatever language is most convenient. This is a Template concerning Jews in particular. English is widely spoken by many people around the world. That Jews also speak English is hardly surprising."
    • Absolutely, and the most convenient language in their case, today, is English. This is not the case for Jews 100 years ago. As the sources note, it's a historical trend that resulted in an overwhelming majority speaking English today. It is also true that "English is widely spoken by many people around the world," but it is not the case that it is the most commonly shared language among a given community. For example, it is not the most commonly shared language among the Armenian diaspora or Lebanese diaspora. As to whether it is "surprising," it need not be "surprising" to appear in the infobox. No misuse has occurred.
  • "The suggested entry—"Lingua franca: English"—places importance on the widespread use of English by Jews. But no source is attributing importance to the use of English by Jews."
    • There is widespread use of English by Jews. It is the most widely spoken language among them by far. Why should the Infobox not point that out? As to whether "no source is attributing importance to the use of English by Jews," you clearly must have missed the sources, indicating that English has taken what would have been Hebrew's place as the Jewish lingua franca and has become "the Jewish people's language of communication." If this is now the case today, why should the infobox not reflect that?
  • "The suggested entry in the Infobox is similar to a sound bite used out of context. Its brevity misleads the reader into thinking that there is a reason for this, when the reason is extrinsic to Jews."
    • First of all, the infobox is meant to include facts briefly. The languages that English followed were introduced with, "Other predominant spoken languages." All of those languages are briefly indicated, as the infobox is meant to include brief and relevant facts that are later explained at length in the article. As to whether it is "out of context," this is not true. Not only is it (1) accurately reflective of multiple sources, but (2) the citations include quotations that provide context to the reader. Within the citation, each source includes the entire relevant passage that is cited, along with the page numbers, so that any user, including relatively unsophisticated readers you are afraid of "misleading," can read exactly what each of the sources say. Whether the reason is "intrinsic" or "extrinsic" is of no relevance: if the reason is, as I noted, because of (a) the countries that most Jews live in today, and (b) the priority given to English in the other countries that Jews in live in, that is a significant trend in the modern Jewish experience that the infobox can and should note. This is just like the infobox notes which countries Jews currently live in today, whether or not the reasons for living there are "intrinsic" or "extrinsic." (Indeed, the locations that Jews live in today is also a matter of historical circumstance and has also changed dramatically from what it was 100 years ago. Does the infobox mislead readers into thinking there is an intrinsic reason for living primarily in the United States and Israel? This is all explained in the article's body.)

This is all a matter of accuracy. If a language is both the most commonly shared among a religious/ethnic group and the preferred means of communication between members of that group from different countries, the infobox can and should reflect that. The sources all indicate this fact. I agree that greater explanation can be given in the body of the article, and the infobox is similarly suited for a brief inclusion of the community's most predominant language. As I noted, the use of sources and quotations in the citation eliminates any possibility for a misread (a possibility I do not believe exists anyway). The body of the article can further expand on the reasons for the predominance of this language, and discuss whether the reasons are "intrinsic," "extrinsic," etc., as well as other historical trends in the languages that Jews have adopted. That is what the body of the article is for, and this what the infobox is for. Thank you for your input. --Precision123 (talk) 21:35, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Just two short reactions. I did not raise the threshold. Rather, I came to the conclusion that so far there is a tentative consensus that this material is not appropriate for the infobox. Secondly, I would find it easier to agree to inclusion of this material in the infobox if the article would discuss the subject, including the important fact that the usage of English among Jews is not intrinsic to Jews and their culture, and is mostly an inevitable result of the dispersion of Jews over the globe. I would like to repeat that I do not accept one of your sources, and that another source is not acceptable since the link you provided does not contain the quote you ascribe to that source. Debresser (talk) 21:59, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I am sorry you personally do not "accept" one of the many sources. WP:RS is not based on which sources you happen to agree with but which ones are reliable and verifiable. All sources are reliable. I also repeat that all sources link to their relevant pages. Perhaps your preview of the book is less complete due to the country you are accessing the website from. --Precision123 (talk) 22:25, 20 October 2013 (UTC)
I also want to thank StevenJ for his comments. It is true that English is a common language for many communities (especially for communication between members of different communities), but it is not always the primary means of communication within a community. This is the result of a modern trend. See [18] ("English has in fact become the most common language of the Jews. It is the mother tongue for the majority of world Jewry and a secondary language for growing numbers in the other countries where Jews live."). Compare this with the Armenians. See [19] ("For Armenians who live in the diaspora, language is more than a means of communication. It is a link to the larger Armenian family, a cohesive symbol of identity. . . . Armenians traveling overseas or in the United States communicate easily because of the shared language.") --Precision123 (talk) 00:09, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I also note the evolution of Debresser's arguments. After each statement is explained to him he appears to develop new complaints. It starts with his personal disagreement with the facts and ends with him acknowledging the facts, but now saying it is a "trivial detail."
(1) He first began reverting because The editor mistakenly believed that the source said that English is the lingua franca of Israel because he said it was "BS about English being a Lingua Franca in Israel," when in fact the source indicated English had become the lingua franca for Jews worldwide -- not in Israel.
(2) He showed personal disagreement with the sources because "Even if some source would say that English is lingua franca, I am still sorry to say it is not. As a Jew who has been in many places, including the USA, Israel and West and Eastern Europe, I can tell you that I have seen Yiddish used as a lingua franca more than English." This statement struck me, and other editors, as extraordinarily incredible. Yiddish has not been the lingua franca of world Jews since the days of the Holocaust. Today, it is primarily reserved to pockets of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. I am not sure where Debresser got the idea that Yiddish is still the lingua franca of world Jews, but the fact that User:Debresser identifies himself as an ultra-Orthodox Jew may explain that personal experience. In any case, this original research is irrelevant.
(3) He then contended that one source, written by a linguist, is unreliable. The source says: "This priority given to English is related to . . . the current status of English as a lingua franca for Jews worldwide."[20]. He says this source is wrong because, in his view, England's mandate over regional Palestine had more to do with the priority of English in Israeli education. The source does not even discuss this view, nor does it say that one reason is the exclusive reason for the priority of English in Israeli education today. In any case, the reasons for the priority of English in Israeli education is not within the scope of our dispute. In addition, Debresser's personal disagreement with a reliable source (or inability to properly understand it) does not negate the source's reliability.
(4) He then asked simply for a second source, saying, "If you can not find a second source, more explicitly discussing the issue, saying the same thing, this can not stay." We found multiple sources. He has similarly complained about some (but not all) of these sources, offering his personal disagreement or original research, but never submitting a source that offers an alternative view.
(5) He then slowly began to acknowledge that English had become the Jewish lingua franca. But he now says that it should not be included because it has no "intrinsic connection" to Jews today. This requirement is unclear and not defined. What made Yiddish the "intrinsic" lingua franca of Ashkenazi Jews 100 years ago? The fact that they had developed it on their own? Is that what the infobox requires? The article lists historical languages of Jews and should now include the language that is both (a) the mother tongue of most Jews worldwide, and (b) the language most commonly used for communication between Jews of different countries. This is a significant departure from the languages Jews used for communication even at the start of 20th century. There is no reason the infobox should not include this fact. --Precision123 (talk) 16:50, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Issue: If English has become the most commonly spoken tongue among Jews and the primary language of communication between Jews of different countries today, can it be referred to as their lingua franca? --Precision123 (talk) 23:31, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. See the long section above for opinions.
  2. It seems from that discussion that there may be a difference between the infobox and the article proper. Meaning that in the article proper it is possible to explain the statement that English is a lingua franca for Jews and put it in perspective, while the infobox doesn't allow for that. This discussion should not pose the question too generally, but should also differentiate between the article proper and the infobox. The whole issue came about because English was called lingua franca in the infobox.
  3. I disagree that English should be called lingua franca, at least in the infobox, mostly because of the lack of intrinsic connection between English and Jews. It is like saying that the lingua franca of Russian Jewry is Russian. Which is true, since general assimilation and forced assimilation and eradication of any and all religion by the Communists caused a loss of cultural identity of Russian Jewry to a large degree, including the loss of Yiddish as a spoken language among them. This is true but needs to be explained in the article. Just saying that English is lingua franca doesn't do justice to the facts, would be almost trivial, and is unconnected and overly simplified. Debresser (talk) 07:34, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
  1. Agreed. Please view the sources listed at the beginning of this section that indicate, inter alia, "In contrast to other peoples who are masters of their national languages, Hebrew is not the 'common possession' of all Jewish people, and it mainly—if not exclusively—lives and breathes in Israel. . . . [Hebrew] has not become the Jewish lingua franca and English is rapidly taking its place as the Jewish people's language of communication."[21]
  2. I disagree with Debresser's contention that the infobox "doesn't allow" for this to be put in perspective. This is a new argument from Debresser that he has only brought up recently. As I previously noted, the infobox is meant to include brief, relevant facts. The status of English as the predominant language of the Jews is (1) reflected by multiple reliable sources, and (2) any possibility for a misread is eliminated by including quotations in the citations. (I repeat though that this possibility does not exist to begin with.) Each of the sources cited includes a quotation with the entire cited passage, along with page number, so that any reader, including relatively unsophisticated ones, can read the passage in its entirety and gain perspective. The idea that there must be "an intrinsic connection" between English and Jews is an unnecessary and irrelevant requirement for the infobox. More than 4 out of 5 Jews in the world live in either the United States or Israel, and the infobox need not go into detail about why that is the case. The body of the article does.
  3. Debresser's personal disagreement with reliable sources does not negate their reliability. The infobox here lists the historical languages and lingua francas of the Jews and it should indicate their current lingua franca. As to Debresser's example here, it is misleading. Throughout history, the primary lingua franca among Russian Jews within their community was Yiddish. If the infobox lists their main language in the past as Yiddish, it should list their current main language of communication, Russian. Then, the article could describe the reasons for that in further detail (i.e., forced assimilation during the communist era and repression of the Yiddish language). Note also, that the primary language of communication for Chechens, Armenians, Ukrainians in Russia is Chechen, Armenian, and Ukrainian, respectively--not Russian.
As to Debresser's contention that "Just saying that English is lingua franca doesn't do justice to the facts, would be almost trivial, and is unconnected and overly simplified," this is also not true. In the modern era, Jews have relinquished their historic vernaculars, and "English has in fact become the most common language of the Jews. It is the mother tongue for the majority of world Jewry and a secondary language for growing numbers in the other countries where Jews live."[22] This modern phenomenon is neither trivial nor "unconnected"--it is directly related to the modern Jewish experience.
Debresser has slowly began to acknowledge that English has become the Jewish lingua franca. (He previously contended that this view fell under WP:EXCEPTIONAL.) But he now says that it should not be included because it has no "intrinsic connection" to Jews today. This requirement is unclear and not defined. What made Yiddish the "intrinsic" lingua franca of Ashkenazi Jews 100 years ago? The fact that they had developed it on their own? Is that what the infobox requires? The article lists historical languages of Jews, and should now include the language that is both (a) the mother tongue of most Jews worldwide, and (b) the language most commonly used for communication between Jews of different countries. This is a significant departure from the languages Jews used for communication even at the start of 20th century. There is no reason the infobox should not include this fact. --Precision123 (talk) 17:05, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I also note that the list of sources has only increased since Debresser began this dispute. With so many reliable sources indicating this fact. It will soon be readded. --Precision123 (talk) 17:37, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I and other editors have laid out our objections above. Your awfully long posts and highhanded tone not withstanding, you will not add anything unless you can show clear consensus. So far there are no other editors who agree with your position, only three who disagree - completely or partially. Debresser (talk) 19:44, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment, this seems really odd to me. Can someone present the short! and concise version of what's going on here? Sportfan5000 (talk) 20:58, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
One editor found a source that English is the lingua franca of the Jews nowadays. The source was contested, and he found more sources, some clearer some less clear. Three other editors don't think the infobox should say that English is the lingua franca of the Jews. Various arguments have been brought, like that there is no intrinsic connection between Jews and English. There seems to be agreement that an explanation in a section of the article is possible, but a short and unexplained mention in the infobox is not acceptable. Of course there is the usual POV pushing, from both sides, although the incivilities haver been kept to a minimum. Debresser (talk) 22:39, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. Based on further information I would be Opposed to adding a confusing statement like that to the info box. However I could see it as an asterisked item with a footnote explaining the statement but that might cause further problems. It sounds like at for now a basic explanation about languages used might be helpful. My understanding is that English use among many peoples is common as it's the dominant language of entertainment and therefore much of the business world. A wikilink to English language usage creep might also be useful here. Sportfan5000 (talk) 22:46, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have only read parts of the long discussion above, but would like to share my opinion on the topic. Hebrew is spoken by all of Israel's 6 million Jews. There are also over half a million Jewish Israelis outside of Israel who speak Hebrew or at least know on a fluent level. In contrast, English is the native language of about 6 million American Jews and another couple hundred thousands Jews living in England, Canada, and Australia. So when it comes to native speakers, the two are tied up. English is of course the default language for Jews around the world to communicate, but it isn't necessary more spoken than Hebrew - we must not forget the importance of Hebrew as a biblical and holy language and that many Jews all over the world read it in daily prayers. So I think both English and Hebrew are the predominant languages of the Jewish people today. In conclusion, English is undoubtedly the lingua franca (definition - a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different) language of the world's 14 million Jews, but evidently I don't think we should consider it as the predominant one. -Yambaram (talk) 22:40, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • The literal answer to the question posed by the RfC is yes. As for the implied question of whether we should identify English as Jews' lingua franca in the infobox, no, I don't think that's necessary. Its presence as a "Predominant spoken language" along with Hebrew and Russian is sufficient. I think Sportfan5000 is essentially correct that English is Jews' lingua franca because it's the world's lingua franca. I also agree that there's no intrinsic connection between the English language and Jews, and that matters. --BDD (talk) 00:52, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree English listed only in info box IF states it is the lingua franca of the Countries people are living in.  :However I'd prefer it left off the info box. Sources can be argues either way, and knowing average wiki user, they won't follow up a reference, so onerous task is to get balance in the text. A subsection under Assimilation, could explain the historical social and political forces that helped/hindered emancipation. Here, it could be expanded on about that in every (mostly european) country that allowed their jewish population (note not with citizenship status) to leave their designated/separate communities to trade and mix somewhat within the larger community, then the language of that country or dialect of its region had to be learnt by the jewsish people. The rich being the exception rather than the rule.
Language was a primary element in the emancipation of jewish people from the historical impositions of the countries they lived in. The article could expand on the importance languages played on jewish history, reducing segregation, improving educational opportunities in the non jewish community and allowing assimilation into wider communities, Language was a vehicle to the broader world. No modern language on its own defines part of jewish culture or 'being jewish'. --Andrea edits (talk) 02:51, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
  • To say English is the common language of most Jews is true in a sense, but it is no way characteristic of the Jews and does not belong in the infobox. I se the attempt to put it there as a an attempt to use a literal definition over what people are likely to mean. DGG ( talk ) 20:16, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Protection[edit]

I've just fully protected for one week per this request at RFPP. Mark Arsten (talk) 19:40, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

In my opinion it would have been better to warn both editors (that includes me) to fight it out on the talkpage first without further edit-warring. Also, it is my understanding that in such cases usually the template should be reverted to the previous consensus version before protecting. Debresser (talk) 08:49, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Can you point me to where there was a solid consensus for that version? Mark Arsten (talk) 16:17, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
A consensus version is also a version that stood unchallenged for a considerable time (where "considerable" depends on the frequency the page is edited). As an admin active in protection you should know this. Debresser (talk) 19:45, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

There are more Jews in the US....[edit]

...according to a 2012 study: [23]. So we either remove Dellapergola's estiamte from the US figure or include it togerther with the brandeis study. Chesdovi (talk) 13:21, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the helpful link. I added this estimate, but didn't remove the older one. I'll now change the overall Jewish population, since it's obviously affectsed too and because multiple reliable source claim the the number to be over 14 million. Yambaram (talk) 08:36, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay I did. That's too bad, the infobox template was merged into the article and all of its history is gone.. Yambaram (talk) 08:56, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Yambaram, the history is right here. [24]. Debresser (talk) 15:10, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Oh right, good call, thanks! Yambaram (talk) 21:54, 21 October 2013 (UTC)