Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, outgoing chancellor of the Conservative
movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, proposed free Jewish education
for every child whose family belongs to a JCC or synagogue of any
Announcing his “bold entitlement proposal” Thursday at
the end of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s biennial
convention in Boston, Schorsch described it as a strategy to combat the
Jewish community’s growing attrition rate. Every Jewish child has a
“birthright to a serious Jewish education,” Schorsch said, but that
doesn’t come automatically — the family must actively affiliate, with
some denomination. Schorsch proposed that Jewish federations pay most
of the cost, referring to the “immense legacy funds” at federations
that “could be earmarked” for the project.
Such a move would strength the denominations and the relationship between the synagogues and federations, he said.