Jews have long understood the importance of study both as a religious activity and as the passageway to a shared culture. American Jews are waking up to how important it is to give their children a solid Jewish education so that they can choose the part they will play in the future of our people. The problem is that our educational systems are having a hard time keeping up, basically because we don't have enough good teachers for our day schools or for our congregational schools, where the majority of our children are formally trained in our heritage.
Tourism in Israel is being hammered. The Al-Aqsa uprising that began last fall has prompted a flood of trip postponements and cancellations, particularly by Americans who saw no need to put themselves or their children at risk when stones and bullets were flying in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.