The Jewish Institute for Youth and Family, Inc.|
a non-profit [(501)(c)(3)] organization whose mission
to develop programs and materials teaching Jewish values to youth and families.
What distinguishes JIYF from other
Jewish educational organizations?
JIYF is devoted specifically to developing programs for families with
children at the crucial stage of adolescence and young adulthood, when youths form their adult identities.
JIYF is unique because it creatively synthesizes
timeless ethical values of Judaism and the best of insights from modern psychology.
Today’s Jewish family is struggling to maintain a sense of stability in a society that has been dramatically
changed by the social upheavals of the twentieth century. The traditional relationships between husband
and wife, parents and children need to be re-negotiated to reflect today’s complex new realities. Until
now, this important work has been left to the field of psychology, which has neglected the ethical
principles that are at the heart of good relationships. Our programs teach how Jewish ethical behavior, supported by ritual practice, can make
family life happier and more fulfilling.
American Jewry is now facing a continuity crisis because the modern Jewish family sees no relationship
between the Jewish religion as it is being taught in the classroom, and the personal challenges of modern life.
Since parents and children see little personal benefit from what is taught in the religious school, they feel little
loyalty to Judaism. Only when they see Judaism as a way of life that makes for their salvation—for a
more meaningful, fulfilling, and joyful family and work life—will this indifference be replaced by a deep
commitment. JIYF fills the gap in the curriculum by teaching families how to creatively apply Jewish
ethics to their personal lives, and by living Jewish values to make their lives more fulfilling and
We also adhere to proven models for effective teaching and successful professional
collaboration. We design our programs as lively, experiential learning activities, not as text book and chalk talk
exercises. We work with rabbis and Jewish educators on a basis of regular feedback and continuous
improvement of quality. JIYF will continue to collaborate with experts in both psychology and Jewish
ethics as we expand to train professionals to use our programs and materials nationwide .
Yes, we need additional funding to carry out our work effectively, and we welcome your contributions!
For more information on our programs and how you can help in this important effort, e-mail us at
William Berkson, Ph.D.
Philosopher, author of ‘Jewish Family Values Today’ and two books on problem-
Sarah L. Dekelbaum, M.A.
Associate Principal, Washington Hebrew Congregation.
Rabbi Cherie Koller Fox
Harold Gluskoter, Ph.D.
Sarah Dekelbaum, M.A.
William Berkson, Ph.D.