Why Supporting Jewish Education Matters
It’s no secret that North American Jewry is in a state of crisis. According to The Jerusalem Post, the future of Judaism depends entirely on “the ability of the current generation to enhance Jewish identity in the coming generation.”
So why is Jewish learning so important to fostering Jewish Identity?
We’ve put together our thoughts:
Jewish Education Fosters A Sense of Belonging
When you live in the Diaspora (outside of Israel), it can be difficult not to feel like an outsider when your friends are putting up Christmas trees and you need to ask for special permission to take Jewish holidays off. Even though children can thrive in this environment, there is a unique sense of belonging that comes from being around other Jewish kids, who celebrate the holidays you do and understand your traditions. With Jewish learning programs offered at Torah High, we help Jewish teens realize their place within Judaism–how they are a part of a chain that goes back thousands of years and how they can connect with a community today. That sense of belonging is one of the cornerstones of Jewish education, and it is one of the most important benefits that a young adult can gain when graduating from a Jewish educational program.
Jewish Education Gives Kids The Opportunity
To Ask Hard Questions
As parents, we’ve all been there. One of our children asks us a question about Judaism that…well, we simply do not know the answer to. Supporting Jewish education means that your child will always have a place to ask the hard questions, where discussions about contradictions and difficult concepts in Judaism are learned from professionals who have spent their entire lives studying the subject. This is crucial for the development of a child’s Jewish Identity. Kids these days are getting smarter and smarter, and with Google at their fingertips, they have every possible avenue to explore different opinions about their Judaism. Having an outlet to explore those questions is one of our main goals at Torah High.
Jewish Educational Programs Help Jewish Kids Meet Each Other in University
When your child is in middle school or high school, it’s still fairly easy to know where they are and have some control over the kind of programs they choose to participate in. Once high school is over, and kids go off to university, they will begin to make their own choices.
With your ability to influence them shrinking, it’s good to know that as a parent, you gave them a solid Jewish foundation to deal with the challenges that arise in university.
Torah High’s programs often continue with our TJJ summer programs, which can help your child continue their Jewish education and make new friends. This, in turn, helps teens build a strong Jewish network when they eventually go off to university. This is especially important when a teen is attending a university out of town; having a strong Jewish network will provide your teen with the confidence to take on new experiences and challenges.