Comparison of the Effectiveness of Jewish Education Between Students of Bar/Bat Mitzvah Age and High School Students in a Jewish Community
The problem. The purpose of this study was to obtain the following questions: Will younger students emphasize the importance of Bar/Bat Mitzvah more than older students? Do older students recognize the importance of Jewish education more than younger students? Will more older students claim that they enjoyed a great deal in both Jewish elementary and high schools? Do older students favor the Jewish high school teachers more than the younger students? Are older students more involved in social activities outside the Jewish high school? Is peer group pressure stronger in the younger group than in the older group? Do older students have more plans for the future in connection with their Jewish education than younger students? Procedure. The study was conducted in a Jewish school in a community of about twelve hundred families in a mid-western city. (Population of approximately 250,000.) The first step in answering the questions stated above was to identify the students of Bar/Bat Mitzvah age and in the eleventh and twelfth grades. Opinionnaires which were constructed by the investigator were mailed to fifty-two students in the seventh and eighth grades and to forty-four students in the eleventh and twelfth grades. Thirty-eight responses were received from the seventh and eighth graders and thirty-six from students in eleventh and twelfth grades. Thirty samples from each group were selected randomly and analyzed. Findings. The results indicated that students in the higher grades had the more positive attitudes toward various aspects of their Jewish school experience. The importance of Jewish education, as expressed by the high school students, emphasized the need to keep as many students as possible in the Jewish high school, as the appreciation of such a school would increase more in the senior grades. Moreover, the connection between Jewish education in the high school and the students' plans for the future lead to the conclusion that the longer the students receive a Jewish education in the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah age, the more they tend to use it in their future life.
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