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Quill
10-04-2006, 04:49 PM
Hello and "Shalom"! :hi:

I've got a question for anyone here who's familiar with the situation: I'm a non-Jew, but in a current WIP I've been slowly going back over (it's been on the backburner a while), I've got a Jewish teenager. He hasn't grown up in a particularly religious area, but he and his family are devout enough. They celebrate Shabbat, they attend religious gatherings often enough, etc. His father's at least nominally involved in their religious community. My teen guy's one of the main characters. He has to make an important decision along with other friends of his, and I really want his decision to reflect his faith or at least his knowledge of the scriptures of his faith.

So here's my question: my character's 17 years old. Is it common for a 17 year old guy to have an extensive knowledge of any holy works in the Jewish faith? I guess I'm trying to ask if getting teens to pursue diligent religious study in Anytown USA is really encouraged by the majority of Jewish leaders.

I know every teen will be different, every synagogue will be different, and that there's no one answer for everyone, but if anyone has any memories or inside stories about their own communities, I'd appreciate it! I just mostly don't want a Jewish teenager reading it and either rolling his/her eyes, or falling over laughing, or worse, dropping the story in disgust, or something.

Thanks. :)

TeddyG
10-04-2006, 04:55 PM
Hello and "Shalom"! :hi:

I've got a question for anyone here who's familiar with the situation: I'm a non-Jew, but in a current WIP I've been slowly going back over (it's been on the backburner a while), I've got a Jewish teenager. He hasn't grown up in a particularly religious area, but he and his family are devout enough. They celebrate Shabbat, they attend religious gatherings often enough, etc. His father's at least nominally involved in their religious community. My teen guy's one of the main characters. He has to make an important decision along with other friends of his, and I really want his decision to reflect his faith or at least his knowledge of the scriptures of his faith.

So here's my question: my character's 17 years old. Is it common for a 17 year old guy to have an extensive knowledge of any holy works in the Jewish faith? I guess I'm trying to ask if getting teens to pursue diligent religious study in Anytown USA is really encouraged by the majority of Jewish leaders.

I know every teen will be different, every synagogue will be different, and that there's no one answer for everyone, but if anyone has any memories or inside stories about their own communities, I'd appreciate it! I just mostly don't want a Jewish teenager reading it and either rolling his/her eyes, or falling over laughing, or worse, dropping the story in disgust, or something.

Thanks. :)



The question needs to be answered in a variety of segments.
First off, is your protag. reform, conservative, converdox, orthodox?
All those will reflect on the amount of "jewish knowledge" he has.
Also it depends on his household.

There are a variety of national Jewish youth organizations.
Nifty - Reform
USY - Conservative
NCSY - Orthodox
(and a bunch of others)

So your protag can come from a really reform household and belong to NCSY and get his jewish education there.
And some reform households are very keen on strong Jewish Education as well.

On top of all this what kind of knowledge does he need? Bible, customs, Talmud what and how deep?

The big cities are a lot different.

And then there is Hebrew school etc. And it depends on the hebrew school and how serious it is.

Need more input here..otherwise the answer can develop in a full blown PHD

Quill
10-05-2006, 02:46 AM
Teddy, thank you for all your questions! While I don't have answers (yet) your questions have given me a LOT of ideas and a lot of great organizations/sects to research properly before I dive into this character! :)

Much appreciated!

smiley10000
10-16-2006, 05:58 PM
Where in Ontario do you live? Let me know and I can try and put you in touch with someone there that may be able to help you with your research...
PM me if you want. (I grew up in Toronto and was involved in many of the groups Teddy mentioned above...)
:) 10000

P.S. Canada is different than the US. The communities are generally far more conservative in Canada. Just something to keep in mind in your research...

TeddyG
10-16-2006, 06:29 PM
so i would assume Smiley you know R. Baruch Taub and his late wife Judy?

smiley10000
10-17-2006, 02:14 AM
I do (did), although not well. I was married at the Bayt though...

How do you know R' Taub?

:) 10000