Jewish education in this country has given too little attention to the texts, history, and culture of the Jewish people. In the supplementary schools (Sunday school and Hebrew school), children are too often mainly taught how to pray, and are prepared for the prayers they will need to become a bar or bat mitzvah. But, after these rituals, and the parties and presents that accompany them, are completed, we lose many of our young people. This should be of no surprise, if all that children have learned of Judaism is a series of rituals and words that seem disconnected from their lives. If we teach students that Judaism is a culture as well as a religion, we open up the wealth of Jewish life to those of many interests and beliefs, including those who consider themselves secular.
Edgar M. Bronfman and Beth Zasloff, Hope, Not Fear: A Path to Jewish Renaissance (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008), 70-71.