I read with great interest, Joseph R. Rackman’s Opinion piece, “Boomers Dropped Ball on Jewish Education” (Dec. 14). Sadly, there is much truth in what he says.
Arguably, one can add the ease of intermarriage and the seemingly unyielding desire to assimilate into American culture (which predates the Boomers) as major contributors to the Jewish people’s “decline” in a free society as well. Whether or not you agree entirely with Mr. Rackman’s thesis, his opinion piece is a call to action.
The 2013 Pew study on American Jews suggests — whether we like it or not — that Judaism is on decline in America. Jewish education and hopefully, with it, a love of one’s Judaism are critical if we are to survive. But how do we infuse this into future generations who are intermarrying at blinding rates of speed?
My husband and I sent our children to Jewish day schools (Schechter School of Long Island) and practiced a love for Judaism in the home, and our now-college-aged children are indeed proud and educated Jews. But, not everyone is interested or can afford that path.
Perhaps, the Chabad have hit upon the successful formula. They offer Jews an instant Jewish family, a keen sense of spirituality and unbridled enthusiasm for Jewish learning. Perhaps, our major Jewish organizations should study what makes Chabad a success and replicate it.
The call to action, if we are to survive as Jews in America, is for the major Jewish organizations to rethink their priorities (social, cultural, charitable) and dedicate their time and financial resources to Jewish education and a love for being Jewish — after all, without that, they themselves will cease to exist. Hopefully, Mr. Rackman’s fear that “we’ve lost” will not come to fruition.