Home  / UK44

The Impact of Communal Intervention Programs on Jewish Identity: An Analysis of Jewish Students in Britain 

Author(s)

Publication Name

Publication Date

April 2014

Abstract

During the 1990s, Jewish communal leaders in Britain reached a consensus that Jewish education, in the broadest sense, was the principal means of strengthening Jewish identity and securing Jewish continuity. This belief motivated considerable investment in communal intervention programs such as Jewish schools, Israel experience trips, and youth movements. Twenty years on, it is pertinent to ask whether, and to what extent, this intervention has worked. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research’s (JPR) 2011 National Jewish Student Survey contains data on over 900 Jewish students in Britain and presents an opportunity to empirically assess the impact such intervention programs may have had on respondents’ Jewish identity by comparing those who have experienced them with those who have not. Regression analysis is used to test the theory based on a set of six dimensions of Jewish identity generated using principal component analysis. The results show that after controlling for the substantial effects of Jewish upbringing, intervention has collectively had a positive impact on all aspects of Jewish identity examined. The effects are greatest on behavioral and mental aspects of socio-religious identity; they are far weaker at strengthening student community engagement, ethnocentricity, and Jewish values. Further, the most important intervention programs were found to be yeshiva and a gap year in Israel. Both youth movement involvement and Jewish schooling had positive but rather limited effects on Jewish identity, and short-stay Israel tours had no positive measurable effects at all. 

Topics

Genre

Geographic Coverage

Original Language

Volume/Issue

34(1)

Page Number

31-57

Link

The Impact of Communal Intervention Programs on Jewish Identity: An Analysis of Jewish Students in Britain  

Bibliographic Information

Graham, David The Impact of Communal Intervention Programs on Jewish Identity: An Analysis of Jewish Students in Britain . Contemporary Jewry. April 2014: 31-57.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-uk44