The survey results showing the positive influence of The Anne Samson Jerusalem Journey (TJJ) trips to Israel (“Orthodox Israel Trips Keeping Young Jews Engaged,” May 15) may suffer from a selection bias that undermines the validity of the conclusions. Students who choose to go on these trips are likely to be more engaged and committed Jews to begin with, which is why they choose the TJJ trip, and thus it is not the trip itself that is responsible for their responses.
Regarding “The Mystery Of The Missing Stained Glass Windows” (April 3), I have been a citizen of Mahanoy City, Pa., for 67 years now, and I knew just about all of the Jewish families that lived here. They were all wonderful people. But I must say this: The worst thing they could do is put those windows back in [Beth Israel, the synagogue from which they were removed]. Because now they have made public the value of the windows.
Wouldn’t the Birthright experience be much more meaningful for its participants if they had stronger Jewish backgrounds before their trip, during their high school years? (“What’s Next After Birthright Next?” Editor’s column, May 22)
Regarding “What’s Next After Birthright Next?” (Editor’s column, May 22): The lack of creative thinking in crafting these programs is pretty shocking. Perhaps none of the people in leadership who are thinking through post-Birthright options is a parent of Birthright alums who are secularists, but nonetheless have a strong sense of Jewish pride and identity. Or perhaps they are too far removed from the mindset of these alums to have a sense of what would really work to sustain the connectedness and emotional high provided by Birthright.