How do high school seniors feel about their Jewish education? What have they learned about the world—and themselves? We asked Jewish day school students—from California to New York—and specific themes emerged: strength of community, critical thinking, tzedakah and values. One student from North Carolina summed it up this way: “Jewish education gives age-old answers to age-old teenage angst.”
What do you value most about your Jewish education?
I think the most valuable thing for me has been the sense of community. —Alexis Farahi, Milken Community Schools, California
Learning from a Jewish perspective both in and out of the classroom has instilled a sense of tikkun olam and tzedakah into my everyday life. —Lily Spar, Milken Community Schools, California
Jewish education gives us time to study life’s hard questions. It gives age-old answers to age-old teenage angst. —Leo Kramer, American Hebrew Academy, North Carolina
I don’t want to be Jewish just because I was born that way or because my parents told me to. I want to be Jewish because I choose to. —Michael Palefsky, Solomon Schechter, New York
My Jewish education taught me to think critically and engage with religion in a meaningful way. —Samantha Lofman
A Jewish education provides students with a myriad of skills to study and analyze texts in a critical and objective manner. —Jonah Weinbaum
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I know that I want to continue my passion for Judaism. It helps me grow and understand life and the values we live with. —Alina bell, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, Kansas
I plan to study nursing in college. —Noa Kraus, Solomon Schechter, New York
I hope to have a positive impact on society. I tend to enjoy science and math and both can be to the benefit of humankind. —Avi Holtz, Solomon Schechter, New York
I am considering taking a year to continue my Jewish education in Israel. —Samantha Lofman
How has your jewish education prepared you for a global world?
I have had the chance to visit Israel and Bulgaria. Both trips taught me that there are different Jewish cultures around the world, and yet there is so much that is the same. —Paul Siegel Nadiv, Frankel Jewish Academy, Michigan
My Jewish education has prepared me to be a proper ambassador for the Jewish faith in the world. —Ben Chasen, Milken Community Schools, California
My Jewish education has prepared me for a global world in that it taught me the golden rule: Love your fellow as yourself. —Brian Brandwein, American Hebrew Academy, North Carolina