Monday, May 12, 2008

Flipping Out? a few 18 year olds or a whole community?

I bought Flipping Out?Myth or Fact: The Impact of the “Year in Israel” by three YU scholars, Shalom Berger, Daniel Jacobson and Chaim I Waxman. The book was a study about the impact that many Jewish Orthodox teenagers do today which is to spend their "freshman year" in Israel studying in a Yeshiva or Seminary.

It is a good book and one can get it through the following website:

I found it revealing and quite interesting. It seems that the year in Israel (or two or three) has more of an impact than 16-18 years in the US. One of the reasons why the Modern Orthodox community of today has shifted to the "Right" is because of close to a couple of thousand young men and women who studied in a Yeshiva or Seminary and have changed their priorities while studying in Israel. Here's an example from the book. There was a woman who wanted to work for an American Yeshiva in the office. Her mother and grandmother never covered their hair. However, she wanted to work there without covering her hair. One of the authors told her that if she didn't cover her hair, she couldn't work there. Dynamics have changed in the Orthodox community. Part of it is a reaction to the world around us and part of it is because people feel more comfortable doing things in a group and if the group is more involved in Jewish study, doing Chessed, etc. then consequently that is what those people will do.


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