Jews: Education for Survival

At a time when assimilation, intermarriage and secularism are eroding U.S. Judaism, religious education has become a major Jewish tool for survival. The Jewish school system in the U.S.—Hebrew-or Yiddish-language day schools, plus afternoon and Sunday schools that teach only religion—is now a $100 million operation with 700,000 students and 17,000 teachers.

"Jewish education is coming into its own," says Morton Siegel, education director of the Conservative United Synagogue of America. An educational agency of Orthodox Jewry, Torah Umesorah, has been chiefly responsible for increasing the number of full-time Orthodox day schools from 35 in 1940 to almost 300 today,...