How to develop Jewish identity in 2nd generation Israelis?
Answer: CHINUCH YEHUDI!

Problem:

The Israeli population in the United States has grown significantly over the last 20 years; yet the vast majority of the children of these families are not receiving any Jewish education at all, or a very superficial one at best. This has led to a great feeling of estrangement from Judaism; such a large number of 2nd generation Israelis are marrying non-Jews! Without the knowledge, history and feeling for the heritage of the Jewish People, why and how can they remain connected?

Objective:

  • Educate Israeli families (ages 25-45) of the critical importance of providing their children with a proper Jewish education.Highlight the benefits of Jewish education; instilling moral values and ethics, teaching children analytical thinking skills etc.
  • Encourage families to increase their Jewish identity; such as observing Jewish holidays, increasing activism on behalf of the state of Israel and fellow Jews, etc.

Solution:

Hire personable native Israelis, fluent in both Hebrew and English, to actualize above goals.

  • We hired Rabbi Yehuda Kornfeld to head our Florida branch. Since 2009 he has given parenting and education classes to parents of Israeli descent.He is kind, understanding, and will go beyond the call of duty to help others.With his extensive connections and warm personality, he has already registered many families for Jewish schools. Rabbi Moshe Orlowek of Las Vegas has joined the Chinuch Yehudi team to do the same in Nevada.
  • Focus on areas that have government assistance for private school education.Florida’s Step Up Tax Credit Scholarship program and Nevada’s ESA program assist in making tuition more affordable. We are also focusing on areas where the local schools are willing to reduce their tuition price in order to accept these children.Chinuch Yehudi will also provide scholarships to parents who are financially in need. If we combine these sources of funding with the parents’ contribution, Jewish day school education becomes financially viable.

Methodology:

  • Organize major social family-oriented events during the year, (around Chagim) to meet new people.
  • Arrange informal meetings in people’s homes to promote Jewish education.At a later stage, have one on one meetings with families to encourage them to transfer their children to Jewish schools.
  • Coordinate with Dr. Neta Peleg-Oren, a well-known psychotherapist, to give workshops to Israelis on how to retain their Jewish Israeli identity.
  • Partner high school age boys and girls with middle school age children who will show by example that Judaism is cool and relevant to them.

Accomplishments:
In the few months since Chinuch Yehudi’s inception in Nov. 2017, it has already touched the lives of over 1500 Israelis living in the United States!

Goals:

  • Expand our program nationally and internationally.We have identified other areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas, London, and Berlin where our organization can make a major impact due to the growing Israeli population.
  • Raise the level of Jewish identity in Israeli families.

Vision: Create an Israeli community without physical borders.