GAJE’s chief focus is trying to help make Jewish education affordable. But as readers also know, we are also public proponents of the proposition that Jewish education is the pre-eminent way to foster and instill in our children the tools and knowledge of Jewish literacy and the accompanying lifelong sense of belonging to our wondrous people.
Now comes a ground-breaking from the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education at George Washington University, led by a research team from Child Trends together with a researcher at Brandeis University, that suggests the earlier such education is launched, the stronger the likelihood that meaningful Jewish identity in our children will result in the future.
According to an article posted on eJewishphilanthopy announcing the study results, the study “offers new and deep insights into how Jewish early care and education (ECE) can serve as a gateway for greater and long-term engagement in Jewish life.”
Among its novel approaches and conclusions, the study differentiates between engagement in Jewish life and membership or involvement in Jewish institutions. This is not surprising. It follows upon recent trends especially among younger generations who are striving to define for themselves what comprises meaningful Jewish life rather than automatically adopting the loyalties and Jewish “behaviours” of their parents and/or grandparents.
The study is called “Exploring the association between Jewish Early Care and Education and Jewish Engagement: Research to Inform Practices.” It is described as the first rigorous investigation of Jewish engagement among families with young children and the role of Jewish ECE in their lives.
The new study once again attests to the importance of Jewish education. Most parental experience, especially during the pandemic, attests to its excellence. GAJE strives to help make it affordable.
Be safe. Stay safe. Be well. Stay well. Be strong. Stay strong.