L.A. Jewish Journal op-ed: This is why day schools are important


This Op-Ed, from Rabbi Mitchel Malkus a board member of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, in the L.A. Jewish Journal is worth a read…

In these disconcerting economic times, Jewish organizations and foundations across the United States have responded quickly with an influx of financial assistance to support Jewish day schools. Although there has been much talk about affordability, there has not been enough discussion about why Jewish day schools are vital to the future of the Jewish community.

While we know the significant impact that Jewish day schools have on fostering the strongest levels of Jewish identity and commitment among their students, recent research demonstrates unequivocally that Jewish day schools are a powerful gateway into Jewish life and the Jewish community for adults, as much as for their children.

Professors Alex Pomson and Randal Schnoor recently conducted a study of the role Jewish day schools play in the lives of adult Jews. Among the many findings of their work, they learned that parents of day school students choose a school as much because of what it offers them as adult Jews as because of what it promises for their children.

Pomson and Schnoor’s findings bolster the case for Jewish day schools as one of the, to quote former Jewish Theological Seminary Chancellor Dr. Ismar Schorsch’s characterization of the synagogue, “bedrock institutions” of the Jewish community. The research now indicates that not only students, but also the parents of Jewish day school students develop stronger Jewish identities and have greater levels of Jewish learning and communal participation because of their affiliation with those schools. …

Click here for the full piece.

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