Thus, when new Jewish immigrants arrived here after World War II, they had a basis on which to build and used this to increase the quality and quantity of Torah education available to young people. This led to the establishment of the many vibrant Orthodox Jewish communities we have today. But let us not fail to learn from the lessons of the past: our survival as Jews is predicated on giving as many Jewish children as possible as extensive a Torah education as possible.
Indeed, several studies have shown that extensive Jewish day school education is the prime contributor to the formation of strong Jewish identities; that Jewish schooling correlates with reductions in intermarriage and more Jewishly active lives; and that the intermarriage rate decreases within the non-Orthodox community as a result of a Jewish high school education.
We must never forget these facts, because history teaches us that the consequences of doing so will, God forbid, lead to catastrophe for the Jewish people.
Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. He writes a Jewish Press feature column, “Glimpses Into American Jewish History,” which appears the first week of each month. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.