Stop Blaming Hebrew School

Sept. 20, 2011



Nina Badzin blogs about adult Jew's responsibility for their Jewish literacy especially around the Jewish High Holidays, when they show up at a synagogue for the first time since Yom Kippur of the previous year and make self-deprecating jokes about their lack of Jewish literacy.


She writes:

Why am I harping on Jewish literacy? It bothers me when Jewish adults blame childhood circumstances for the holes in their Jewish education. If you’re forty-two years old and you get nervous when someone invites you to a Shabbat dinner because you don’t know the long version of the kiddush or even the short one, I don’t think it’s fair to blame your childhood rabbis, the denomination in which you were raised, the Hebrew and/or religious school you did or didn’t attend, or your parents’ lack of observance. Same goes for not knowing why your kids are making Sukkot decorations at their preschool, or that in Judaism giving charity is a mitzvah–which means “commandment” and not “good deed.”


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Updated: Oct. 04, 2011