Teaching by example

Teaching by example

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.”

For further information, call (201) 476-0157.

Lois Goldrich

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