Jewish Private School Movement Picks Up Steam

February 16, 2001

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On February 16, 2001, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that "the Jewish day school movement in the Bay Area and across the country is catching up with a growing demand from parents who want Jewish history, culture and religion to be an underpinning of their children's daily education." Four new Jewish schools will be opening in the San Francisco Bay area within the next two years, and several more will be expanding. Following a 1990 survey that found that intermarriage rate between Jews and people of other religions had surpassed 50 percent, the number of non-Orthodox schools has been rapidly rising. Jewish education leaders say the connection between the survey and the growth spurt is not coincidental: "With such assimilation...many Jews began to fear for the future of their history and religion...There are about 670 Jewish schools serving 185,000 students in the United States. But 80 percent of those are Orthodox and nearly two-thirds students reside in New York and New Jersey alone." An estimated 275,000 to 300,000 Jews live in the San Francisco Bay Area.