Reform Judaism and Public Schools:

I just came across a detailed demographic survey of the D.C.-area Jewish community, which has a wealth of very interesting data. The most interesting statistic I came across relates to Reform Judaism and public schools. Traditionally, organized Reform Judaism was vigorously opposed to Jewish day schools because of an ideological belief in both assimiliation and also public schooling, as such. While that opposition has lessened, one still often hears Reform Jewish leaders talking about the supreme importance of public schools, and only a handful Jewish day schools under Reform auspices exist (though to be fair, "community" schools around the country often have a large Reform contingent). At least in the D.C.-area Jewish community, Reform Judaism has successfully discouraged its adherents from sending their kids to Jewish day schools--only 3% of children of Reform Jews attend Jewish day schools, as opposed to 15% for Conservative, 11% for Reconstructionist, and even 7% for "Just Jewish," usually the least-affiliated demographic category. On the other hand, Reform Judaism has been less successful in encouraging fealty to public schooling--22% of children in Reform Jewish households send their kids to non-Jewish private schools. So 25% of D.C.-area Reform Jews send their kids to private school, but only an eighth or so of those send them to Jewish day schools.