The principle mission of the Ollendorff Center is to increase awareness of the fundamental issues facing the Jewish people through a series of educational programs, award-winning documentaries (including the First International Peace Award at The Venice Film Festival), national conferences and global outreach programs.
Stephen Ollendorff meets Pope John Paul II in April, 1999
Of paramount concern is Judaism itself. Despite more than 60 years of Jewish immigration from Europe and Russia to the U.S., there are fewer Jews today than there were at the beginning of the Second World War. The intermarriage rate in America is now over 50%. Three fourths of America's Jewish children will not receive a Jewish education.
Intermarriage and indifference have created a crisis that threatens our very existence. In the last ten years, between 500,000 to a million Jews have opted out of Judaism by either no longer identifying as Jews or by adopting another religious identity.
Today, the question we must ask ourselves is not "How should we be Jewish?" but rather "Why should we be Jewish?" It is through our broad-based spectrum of projects that the Ollendorff Center seeks to provide answers for living a spiritual, ethical and rational Jewish life and present practical solutions for a modern Judaism.