Search results for: Schiff Danny
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When primary encounters with Judaism happen outside the home, they are no longer connected to what our parents model as being truly significant and they are detached from the most impactful cocoon of all, where our life patterns are shaped. There can be little doubt that the priorities to which our parents commit themselves in the private domain are pivotal in signaling what they truly value, and have an enduring impact that is powerful. For years, Jewish educators have bemoaned the “drop off” phenomenon, where kids are “dropped off” at schools and youth groups that are supposed to “make them Jewish,” while the parents drive away to other pursuits. Even in those instances when parents are devoted to their own Jewish communal activities, these have far less influence on the next generation if they fail to permeate the home and ensure a thick home practice.
Updated: Aug. 10, 2016
In recent days, Jack Wertheimer and Steven Cohen have offered a salutary reminder that non-Orthodox American Jews are “standing on a demographic precipice.” And backing away from the cliff’s edge, they tell us, will require focusing squarely on the young. According to their prescription, a return to Jewish flourishing will be secured by stressing the importance of day schools, residential summer camps that offer “serious Jewish content,” Israel trips “for sixteen and seventeen year-olds,” youth groups, organized campus activities, and efforts to stimulate in-marriage or convert gentile partners. It is hard to dispute that these are top priority agenda items – as they have been for some time. And Wertheimer and Cohen are right to sound the alarm; with the ground moving fast under our feet, it is too late for complacency.
Updated: Nov. 24, 2014