Jun 1, 1999
Jewish Education and Outreach
There is much to be done. Most Jewish children do not receive any formal Jewish education, special education remains unavailable to most Orthodox families that need such services, and outreach programs remain underfunded and understaffed. Adults too, even those, with years of Torah education, require continued opportunities for further educational growth and development. Additionally, the growing Israeli and Soviet emigre communities in North America are badly in need of appropriate Torah education.
The RCA therefore resolves to help support programs such as NCSY. The Lilly Endowment Study presented a remarkable profile of success of NCSY efforts Striking NCSY Alumni statistics include: 98 percent of former NCSYers married Jews; 65 percent spend some time each week studying a Jewish text; 92 percent are affiliated with a synagogue; and 50 percent attended a yeshiva program in Israel.
The developmentally disabled require our community's care, attention and service. Their special needs ask us to make an extra effort to provide them with love, education and inspiration. The National Council for the Disabled has pioneered bringing Jewish education to the disabled and bringing the disabled into the broader community. Through Shabbatonim, summer camps and vocational training programs, we have been able to bring a greater measure of dignity and fulfillment to those members of the community.
We support their activities and promote the expansion of funding for activities.
The RCA supports its newest national campus program KEDMAH and look forward to many exciting developments in the campus arena. The KEDMAH program is a great beginning. Nevertheless, while a number of relatively small successful Orthodox efforts on a number of campuses are in place, they are a far cry from a coordinated national effort that would place an Orthodox presence on every campus with a significant group of Orthodox students.
The RCA additionally calls upon the entire Jewish community-through its federations, foundations and communal campaigns-to provide increased support for day school education.
We also call upon Jewish communal bodies to facilitate broader participation in their events and express respect for Jewish tradition by observing the roles of kashrut at communal events.
The RCA endorses and joins in the efforts of the National Jewish Day School Scholarship Committee to make a Jewish day school education available to all those who want it. Thus, we endorse the proposal that all Jews should designate five percent of their estate to a day school endowment fund.
The RCA endorses the efforts and energies of the National Jewish Outreach Program and encourages our members and synagogues to participate in its varied programs from TFIS to Basic Hebrew to Basic Judaism.