Supplementary Education Suffering

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.

Discover More

History of the Reform Movement

America's largest Jewish denomination, Reform began in 19th-century Germany.

Conservative Judaism: How the Middle Became a Movement

The second-largest Jewish denomination in the U.S. maintains that Jewish law remains binding, but is open to adaptions that reflect modern realities.

Who Was Anne Frank?

The story of the young diarist who became a symbol of the Holocaust.