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Raising Jewish Children: Research and Indications for Intervention

Our research shows that the successful formation of Jewish identity through Jewish education is the result of cumulative serendipities: Jewish family connections, Jewish formal education, Jewish friends and social networks, Jewish informal education, and travel programs. All of these work together and reinforce one another to produce identified and attached Jews. The greater the number of Jewish educational activities and experiences, such as Jewish supplementary school combined with Jewish summer camp, the more impact each one of them has on the given child and on the family. The combination of youth group, camp, and Israel trips also is correlated with an 80 percent in-marriage rate. This is especially the case in the school-aged years. A major policy challenge is to seek out and support the serendipities, so that they are no longer left to chance, but become, instead, one of the primary strategies for promoting the future of Jewish life.