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Raising Jewish Children: Research and Indications for Intervention

This paper addresses an informational lacuna concerning the impact of various kinds of Jewish education along the life cycle upon diverse segments of the Jewish community, as the basis for systematic discussions and examinations of this complicated landscape. While much research concerning educational programs aimed at diverse age groups exists, it is dispersed and not easily accessible. The paper examines research1 on educational strategies aimed at diverse age groups—pre-school, primary school, secondary school and university age, emerging and mature adults–and also considers the behavior and values of different subgroups in the American Jewish community. The analysis of the effectiveness of Jewish education at various points of intervention along the life cycle is informed by the theoretical literature on social networks and social capital. Part I explains the importance of constituting Jewish social circles through educational strategies. Part II examines the quantitative and qualitative research on the effect of Jewish education along the stages of the life cycle. Part III surveys new trends in Jewish education and outlines the critical areas and issues in Jewish education that remain open questions and require further research.