North American Jewish Day Schools’ Online Promotion of Physical Education

January, 2021

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 8, Number 1, pp. 28-39(12) 


Parents and other stakeholders regularly view school websites for important information including curricula. Over 300,000 students are enrolled in North American Jewish day schools, but little is known about schools' online promotion of physical education (PE). The authors conducted a content analysis of the mention of various PE characteristics and their association with school characteristics.


The authors systematically tallied mention of 7 PE characteristics and 4 school characteristics on the websites of 516 Jewish day schools located in 237 North American cities. Descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations were used to analyze proportions for each characteristic and associations among them.


PE and curriculum were the only characteristics mentioned on over 50% of the websites. The mention of 4 PE characteristics (health messaging, facilities, PE, curriculum) was strongly associated with the religious affiliation of schools. Specifically, websites of liberal schools and traditional schools were more and less likely, respectively, to mention the characteristics.


The websites of Jewish day schools insufficiently promoted PE characteristics with large differences based on religious affiliation. Surveying school officials responsible for website content about their beliefs on PE generally and the appropriateness of websites for promoting it may help inform strategies for boosting its online presence.


Updated: Mar. 11, 2021