Canadian-born lecturer Doron Kornbluth has been speaking to Jewish groups for more than 10 years, telling parents how they can keep their families Jewish. The author of “Why Marry Jewish,” Kornbluth will visit Valley Chabad on Nov. 12 to speak on the topic of his latest book, “Raising Kids to Love Being Jewish.”
Most recently, he said, he’s been speaking to parents of teenagers, suggesting “easy-to-follow [strategies] that can make a big difference.”
“What parents think will work often doesn’t work,” he said. For example, when parents drop their children off at Hebrew school and then drive away to do something else, “it’s a recipe for disaster.”
“It says not only that the parents themselves aren’t learning but that being Jewish is [only] for kids,” he said. “We are what we see. You don’t have to be a perfect parent, but you need to let your kids see you doing Jewish things.”
“If you write a check to a Jewish charity, don’t do it at night,” he continued. “Let the children see what you’re doing and talk to them about it. Frame it in Jewish terms. Show them what it means to be a mensch.”
Kornbluth said that while the surest way to keep your kids Jewish is either to move to Israel or to become ultra-Orthodox and live apart from the rest of the community, “the vast majority of families aren’t going to do this.”
“It’s not like it was in the past,” he said. “Even if we did the same things our parents did, it wouldn’t work. The world has changed.”
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