Why Jewish Education
A vibrant and healthy Jewish community requires members who are engaged with Jewish life and who are Jewishly educated and literate. Evidence indicates that the duration of a child’s Jewish education has strong correlation with subsequent engagement with Jewish life, which includes raising Jewish children, maintaining a Jewish home, attendance in and affiliation with synagogue, charitable giving to Jewish causes and visits to Israel. In general, Jewish day school graduates have a strong, positive sense of their Jewish identities and responsibilities toward Jewish and humanitarian causes. Given their Jewish knowledge and commitments, they are likely to become Jewish communal leaders, volunteers, professionals, scholars and philanthropists. There are many different reasons to support an organization that helps sustain Jewish day schools, including:
- A strong Jewish education is our community’s best weapon against assimilation. According to a National Jewish Population Survey conducted by the United Jewish Communities organization (2000-2001 survey), more intensive forms of Jewish education in childhood are associated with lower rates of intermarriage in adulthood. Those with Jewish day school/Yeshiva education had a 7% intermarriage rate, as opposed to those with part-time Jewish schooling—meeting more than once a week or once a week—who had 23% and 29% intermarriage rates, respectively.
- The day school movement is an essential component of advocacy and support of Israel in the Diaspora. Some of Israel’s greatest supporters nourished their sense of Zionism and commitment to the State of Israel in our day schools.
- Day schools are training the next generation of Jewish communal leaders and activists, who need to fully understand their history and heritage, as well as vital current communal issues, in order to lead effectively and make a difference in the world.
- We owe it to the generations before us who struggled to provide their children with Jewish education to ensure that our children receive the best education they can.
If you care about the continuity of the Jewish people, if passing on Jewish identity and affiliation with Israel and involvement in the Jewish community is important to you – whether you currently have children in the day school system, have finished putting your children through the day school system or hope to put children through the day school system in the future – you should support Jewish education in your community.
There cannot be a future for the Jewish community without investing our communal resources in Jewish education today.