Do Youth Groups Matter
When my eldest daughter was in fifth grade, I had a casual conversation with a friend of mine who works as a synagogue rabbi here in Israel. "Is she in B'nei Akiva?" he wanted to know. "No," I answered, "she was never that into it." He was horrified. "You should make her go, or at least encourage it! It's so good for them."
Wondering what the evidence says, I spent some time looking at recent research on the history and impact of religious youth groups. The reslts are another in ATID's ongoing series, Survey of Research in Jewish Education.