I shall always be dismayed by the decision in 2005 by what was then United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ to discontinue the very successful PATHWAYS program for intermarried families. No wonder that “Half Full or Half Empty? Survey of U.S. Jews roils local experts” (Oct. 10). At the forefront of addressing the situation in 1990, UJCMW inaugurated a two-year Sunday school program for families not yet ready to join synagogues but having a desire to raise their children as Jews. Our successes were outstanding:
• More than 75 percent of attendees joined synagogues at the end of their two-year commitment.
• 90 percent of families went on to raise Jewish children.
• Each year saw more families enroll, from 15 to 35 in the 14 years the program existed.
Programs like this don’t attract hundreds at the beginning but open a door for those willing to begin the journey. Unfortunately, the less-thansix-figure expenditure by UJCMW was thought to be “not enough bang for the buck.”
How many more demographic studies do we need to state the obvious?
Can’t this kind of programming be done again?
Mentor and coordinator,
Intermarriage/ Keruv Initiative
Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
(formerly: Director of Outreach to Intermarried Families, PATHWAYS United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ)
Walnut Creek, Calif.