“It was astonishing for us to realize that the difference is such a huge difference.”It’s hard to measure the success of any of these programs definitively.
An acquaintance gave a few of us a ride after the annual post-Yom Kippur feast.
Stuffed with bagels, lox, kugel, and every kind of pound cake imaginable, the four of us chatted happily about life in D.
If you want to persuade kids to marry other Jews, don’t be too pushy.
But make no mistake: This doesn’t mean they have a laissez-faire attitude about intermarriage.
“But our interpersonal relationships are colored by our Judaism, and our dating and marriage decisions are equally Jewish decisions.”On the opposite end of the spectrum of observance, a Reform organization, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), seems to take a similar tack, especially in response to frequent questions from donors and congregants about intermarriage trends.
“Our response to [concerns about] intermarriage is less to have conversations about dating—we want to have larger conversations about what it means to be Jewish,” said the director of youth engagement, Rabbi Bradley Solmsen, who estimated that NFTY serves about 17,700 Jewish students each year.
He spoke about his movement’s effort to expand their tiny youth programs, which currently serve around 100 students each year.
“The focus went first to camp, because the research shows that that’s where you get—and I don’t love this phrase—the biggest bang for your buck.”“The focus went to camp, because the research shows that that’s where you get...
In large part, that’s because Jewish organizations put a lot of time and money into spreading precisely this message.
For the Jewish leaders who believe this is important for the future of the faith, youth group, road trips, summer camp, and online dating are the primary tools they use in the battle to preserve their people.***Although Judaism encompasses enormous diversity in terms of how people choose to observe their religion, leaders from the most progressive to the most Orthodox movements basically agree: If you want to persuade kids to marry other Jews, don’t be too pushy.“We try not to hit them over the head with it too frequently or too often,” said Rabbi Micah Greenland, who directs the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), an Orthodox-run organization that serves about 25,000 high school students each year.
ensure that Jewish traditions are sustained for generations to come.