The impact of education at Yeshiva University's James Striar School
Rosenberg, Bernhard Howard
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The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived long term effects of the educational program of the James Striar School (JSS) of Yeshiva University on the observances, identification with Judaism and participation in Jewish organizations of the school's alumni.;A questionnaire was sent to 251 alumni, who had graduated during the years 1962-1972. There were 108 responses. Information was gathered concerning the graduates' social and communal practices from graduation to the present.;Perceptions of family background, school experiences, peer influences, kosher practices, Sabbath observances, ritual observances, mate selection and selection of place of residence were addressed in the questionnaire. The study revealed that a search for knowledge and a desire to know more about their religion and heritage were the perceived major motivations for attending the James Striar School. Respondents indicated that the James Striar School served as a catalyst for their better understanding of Judaism. This experience increased their participation in Judaism and gave them the Hebrew language skills necessary to learn Torah on their own. The JSS experience reinforced the effects of factors such as home life and community influences. Current religious observances was found to be influenced by family background and the motivation provided by the individual's synagogue rabbi and the rabbis who taught them at JSS. The majority of JSS alumni perceive themselves as modern Orthodox or centrists. Respondents indicated they are more observant than their parents. JSS graduates chose spouses with high levels of Jewish education and practice. Respondents wanted their children to obtain a yeshiva or day school education. An important finding was that parents of JSS graduates showed no substantial deterioration in their religious practices. JSS was, thus, a confirming experience for those who attended, not an awakening or initiating experience.