Engaging Jewish Teens: A Study of New York Teens, Parents and Practitioners

By Alexander Zablotsky, Amy L. Sales, Nicole Samuel

Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS), November 2011

UJA-Federation of New York is reprising an idea dormant for the past decade. The idea, simply put, is that the community has an opportunity and obligation to engage teens in Jewish life in a way that is meaningful and powerful. To that end, the Experiments in Teen Engagement Task Force of UJA-Federation of New York (ETE Task Force) was created. In close collaboration with The Jewish Education Project, the ETE Task Force seeks new answers to the longstanding questions of who our teens are and how Judaism and the Jewish community can remain important to their lives through high school. The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University was funded by UJA-Federation of New York to carry out research to inform the ETE Task Force’s planning.

This study is based on teens who celebrated a bar/bat mitzvah between 2006 and 2009 and were in 9th, 10th or 11th grade in school year 2010-2011, the time of data collection. Knowing that all of these teens had started on the bimah at age 12 or 13, the purpose was to find out how many had continued with Jewish education and involvement and how many had left the path. The selection method produced a sample of Jewishly-educated teens from affiliated families; in other words, those most likely to become or remain engaged. We can assume that the probability of reaching the remainder of the Jewish teen population, which began adolescence at a further distance from Judaism and the Jewish community, is even lower than it is for the teens in our sample.

Topic: Programming, Youth Engagement, Friendship, Youth, Religious Observance, Jewish Identification, Family, Study

Funder: UJA-Federation of New York

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Genre: Report

Coverage: New York, New York , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Zablotsky, Alexander. Sales, Amy L. Samuel, Nicole. Engaging Jewish Teens: A Study of New York Teens, Parents and Practitioners. Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS). November 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13423


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