You gotta read it to believe it.
The following is an actual dialogue (with a name change) I had a few days ago with a student, now a junior, who left our Jewish educational program after 10th grade.
I was happy to run into him at a youth convention:
Hi, Adam, how are you, how have you been?
Hi. I’m good. You know I’m not there any more, I mean taking classes….
Yes, I know. I kinda noticed since I’m still teaching there. We miss you.
It’s because I’m done.
There it is. DONE. Like a finished bottle of water. ”I reached the end (Confirmation) and now I’m DONE. Besides, my parents said I could be DONE.’
I continued the conversation a bit, and talked about what Jewish education means and perhaps that he might think about taking Jewish oriented classes in college. Even Hebrew language.
He did not get this at all by the way, and couldn’t figure out why a college would offer courses in Jewish Studies, let alone teach the Hebrew language.
Did I mention that he’s a junior?
And that his parents are involved in synagogue life?
So, in this post, I won’t even begin the conversation about Confirmation programs.
I just wanted you to know what’s really going on out there. Just in case we’re under any illusions about the enormity of the work we need to do.