Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Jewish education, vital

World Net Daily:

Interestingly, a careful study by Orthodox Jews strongly confirms that how a child is educated clearly trumps all other factors with respect to whether a child retains his faith into adulthood.
The authors of the study, Anthony Gordon and Richard Horowitz, spent years researching the effects of educating Jewish children in Orthodox Jewish day-schools. Their findings demonstrate the pivotal role that parochial education plays in the religious formation of a child:
"... multiple research studies have come to the same conclusion: Within three generations there will be almost no trace of young American Jews who are currently not being raised in Orthodox homes with a complete Jewish Day School education ... the less time-intensive forms of Jewish education have almost no effect on intermarriage." [emphasis added]
How is it that giving Jewish children an education based on the worldview of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings has such a profound effect? Gordon and Horowitz find that the child so educated is equipped to answer the ultimate question, "Why be Jewish?":
Orthodox parents and Orthodox day schools seem to give their children enough good reasons for staying Jewish that even when the children are grown and have the option to intermarry and disappear from Jewish life, virtually none of them do. Somehow, they reach adulthood with solid answers to the question of "Why be Jewish?"
Moreover, as Gordon and Horowitz point out, a less committed approach to the training up of children leads to catastrophe:
There is finally a dawning recognition that Jewish continuity and survival cannot be sustained in what has been an American lifestyle devoid of serious Jewish education and Jewish living. One might have believed in the 1950's or 1960's that it was sufficient to have minimal Jewish exposure. Examples of such exposure includes simply to be a member of a Temple, have Jewish friends, play basketball at the Jewish Center and live in a generally Jewish neighborhood to ensure that one's children would be Jewish. However, we now have the data and studies to know that children who are left without an education leading to deep Jewish beliefs and practices have little chance of having Jewish descendants....

posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 2:33 PM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might i recommend the tape Why Be Jewish by Rabbi David Orlofsky.

6:06 PM  

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