Jewish educators and communal leaders often have assumed that a healthy Jewish identity, like a healthy body, depends on what a child "consumes" early in life. In this metaphor, Jewish identity is like the set of bones on which the muscles of Jewishness are attached and can move. Like bones, Jewish identity needs to be nourished and developed in childhood with sufficient strength and density to sustain it later in life. The primary goal of this kind of nutritional approach to Jewishness is to treat Jewish identity as the core of identity, the "backbone" of a healthy sense of self. Jewish identity becomes a goal to reach, an achievement to be celebrated and one that presumably remains relatively secure without too much additional change once it is in place.