By Gary Rosenblatt
Editor, The Jewish Week
Which approach is more successful in attracting Jewish college students: a wide range of social and cultural events or a large helping of gefilte fish?
That question, admittedly oversimplified, was on my mind last week after attending, back to back, a major Washington conference sponsored by Hillel, the Jewish organization committed to analyzing and adapting to the ways of a new generation of college students, and a meeting in New York exploring the on-campus efforts of Chabad, the chasidic group, which uses an old-fashioned approach — home-cooked meals and personal contact — to attract students on Friday nights.
There are no clear winners in the race to appeal to students with little Jewish background, but I came away convinced that each group could learn from the other, and that their successes or failures could well shape the future of Jewish life in America.
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