Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jewish Continuity

There is a great letter from a Louis Benjamin of Riverdale in the current issue of The Jewish Week (link):

What well-heeled donors and the communal officials eager for their money fail to grasp is that intermarriage is not a “disease” that we as a community must “cure,” but only a symptom of the larger problem of a life lived outside the continuum of education, shared experience and community that collectively constitute an enduring Jewish life. Throwing millions of dollars at only one aspect (in this case, camps) of a multifaceted experience is akin to telling a child that she need only eat carrots to grow into a healthy, well-nourished adult.

To improve the quality of Jewish life in America we need to strengthen all the institutions of Jewish life: day and supplementary schools, trips to Israel, campus programming, community centers and synagogues, as well as camps. Focusing all our attention and resources on just one piece of the puzzle misses the larger point.

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