Thesis

Group membership, Jewish education and the attitudes of Jewish youth

The assumption of every Jewish educational enterprise, by definition, is that in some way it is contributing to the Jewish maturation of its members; that, as a product of its efforts, Jewish loyalties will be fostered and the historical-civilizational continuum will be maintained unbroken. The hypothesis of this project is that while the foregoing may be desirable, it is certainly not the case in the vast number of the environments which go under the banner of Jewish educational institutions. The findings will indicate that there is a slight relationship between group membership and levels of observance. A review of the literature will include relevant selections from previously published studies on attitudes and group postures. It will also attempt to take into account the vagaries of a minority culture in an open society and the specialty which the particular group under study has taken on during the last half of the twentieth century. A description of the instrument, based on general and particular opinionaires, followed by a description of the sampling procedures v1ill constitute an introduction to the data section of the project. While the data, in and of itself, may be significant, this project is oriented towards formative evaluation. Because the future of American Jewry is in the hands of the young people currently engaged in its educational enterprise, it is vitally important that the areas and degrees of the effectiveness of that education be under constant scrutiny and examination. If the major question for discussion in general circles today is: Equality of Education, perhaps our parochial consideration ought to be: Effectuality of Jewish Education.

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