from The Jewish Week:
… Plagued by out-of-touch or nonexistent programming; publicity that – when it exists – is unsophisticated and in the wrong venues; staff that is overstretched and undertrained; unfriendly prices and a lack of communication among individual institutions, Jewish programs tend to attract only the most motivated families, even as countless other parents express an openness to Jewish experiences …
With a new parenting website/portal called Kveller.com slated to launch later this month and with “ignition grant” funding set aside for projects in Brownstone Brooklyn and adjacent neighborhoods like Ditmas Park, UJA-Federation of New York’s two-year-old Beginning Jewish Families Task Force, which commissioned the study, is seeking to dramatically improve Jewish outreach to this demographic. What’s at stake? Attracting on-the-fence new parents at a point when they are forming lifelong friendships and making decisions about how to raise their children.
“We know this is a moment in the lifecycle of a family where there is potential to reconnect to Jewish life,” said Rebecca Spilke, a planning executive at UJA-Federation, which is investing “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in the project, including almost $200,000 on Kveller.
The study, conducted by Mark I. Rosen of Brandeis University and a team of six researchers, notes that when a young family becomes involved with secular institutions instead of Jewish institutions, parents are “less likely to establish friendships with other parents who are involved in Jewish life, and will be less likely to encounter Jewish role models.”