Eight highly successful marriage retreats have taken place in hotel settings within the past few years. Four have been held on the east coast and three on the west coast, providing practical information on strengthening healthy marriages.
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Are Orthodox Jewish Marriages Any Happier?
The project of the Orthodox Union was conducted in conjunction with the Aleinu Family Resource Center, a program of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and the Rabbinical Council of California, which developed and conducted an initial survey in March, 2008.
Now, after an extended and thorough process of analysis and evaluation, the Orthodox Union will reveal the findings to determine the level of marital satisfaction in its community. The OU for years has had a priority of strengthening the Jewish family. It does so, in great part, through programs such as “Positive Jewish Marriages” and “Positive Jewish Parenting,” which are presented to large audiences around North America under the direction of Frank Buchweitz, OU Director of Community Services and Special Projects.
The raw data was collected by OTX, a California institute of the behavioral sciences, and analyzed and interpreted by:
- Dr. David Pelcovitz, Straus Professor of Psychology and Education at the Azrieli Graduate School of Yeshiva University;
- Dr. Eliezer Schnall, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University; and
- Debbie Fox, LCSW, Director of Aleinu Family Resource Center, and author of the Aleinu Marital Satisfaction Survey.
OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil declared, “The survey provided the tools to help the Orthodox Union gather information leading to a greater knowledge of and overview of the issues that are impacting upon marriage today. This information will help us develop programs and strategies as the Orthodox Union continues to be responsive to the needs of our communities and families.”
The Aleinu Marital Satisfaction Survey expanded the number of questions for 2009, broadening the original survey of 2008. In addition to the original items assessing marriage satisfaction, the impact upon marriage from additional factors – including at-risk children, infertility and birth control – were studied as well as issues pertaining to premarital counseling effects on marriage satisfaction.
Speakers at the press conference will include Rabbi Weil, Frank Buchweitz, Dr. Pelcovitz, Dr. Schnall and Mrs. Fox. Media will receive copies of a DVD recorded at OU headquarters, when the analysts first presented their findings in closed session preparatory to the press conference. Media will also receive a Power Point presentation of the statistical analysis of the survey.
Survey coordinator Frank Buchweitz declared at that meeting, “We are proud that the Orthodox Union has led the way in presenting programs to strengthen the Jewish family, programs which are now being emulated by other Jewish organizations. The OU intends to use the survey results to continue its work of strengthening the Jewish family.”
March 9, 2010 OU Marriage Retreat July 9-11, 2010