Supplementary Education Suffering

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This week’s homepage features a “Back to Hebrew School” special, with an article on how to choose the best school for you children. But nationally, many parents are avoiding that decision. A new study, commissioned by the Avi Chai Foundation, finds that more and more Conservative and Reform Jewish parents are opting out of giving their children a religious education, due to rising costs and apathy.

The study, carried out by Jack Wertheimer, found that “85% of children who are enrolled in grade six have left by grade 12. He speculates that many parents are content to withdraw their child after that child receives a bar or bat mitzvah education.” (MORE)

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone at all familiar with the world of Hebrew schools. But the study is the largest census of Jewish religious schools, including data on what it claims to be “up to 90% of the nation’s total,” and should help inform the growing number of funders and organizations addressing the seemingly age-old problem of fixing Hebrew school.

Posted on August 18, 2008

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