School Vouchers: A Jewish Perspective

An examination of the argument in support of vouchers in the Jewish community

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Marvin Schick, a Jewish educator who conducted a census of day schools, said support for education, as the ultimate solution to Jewish survival is "a desperate Hail Mary" by well­ meaning people who "can't figure out anything else that works."

Additionally, convincing much larger numbers of Jews to abandon public schools would require an ideological about‑face for American Jews, who traditionally have seen public schools as a ticket to acceptance in American society and the affluence that follows.

'Today... parents are willing to consider Jewish schools in part because they no longer fear being viewed as outsiders," New Republic editor Peter Beinart recently wrote in The Atlantic Monthly.

Additionally, he wrote, 'The rise of institutions like the New Jewish High School represents something close to a renegotiation of the terms of American Jewish life. And for America's battered public school system it could not come at a worse time."

But for Jewish leaders like Yossi Prager, saving the Jewish religion means much more than salvaging the public school system.

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Michael Kress

Michael Kress is the executive editor of He was also the the VP of Editorial and Managing Editor at Beliefnet and the founding editor-in-chief of