Section archive - Adult Education
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Day Schools are confronted with a particularly daunting mission. In addition to providing a rigorous dual education, they work indefatigably to inspire students religiously. At times, this mission feels Sisyphean. Our children are saturated in modern culture. Too often, turning their attention toward a Torah lifestyle is a terrifyingly daunting task. Even when our efforts appear to meet with success, students often regress to the mean. Moreover, despite their remarkable commitment to day school education, not all parents are positioned to inspire religious growth in their children. Indeed, any honest educator will confirm that this is one of the greatest challenges confronting Modern Orthodoxy. It follows, then, that to best inspire our students, we must inspire our families and communities. To thrive religiously, our children must inhabit spiritually nurturing ecosystems. In a word, schools have begun to invest in community education because it is critical to the success of their mission of educating children.
Updated: Mar. 29, 2017
In 2014, I left the army and joined Lt. Col Ariel Almog and, together with the Yad Layeled organization (and in partnership with JNF-USA), we founded the “Special in Uniform” program. The program integrates thousands of young people with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and, in turn, into Israeli society. We see the inclusion of people with disabilities in the army as a way to help usher them into a self-sufficient life once they are discharged from the army. Our belief is that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential. Special in Uniform focuses on the unique talents of each individual participant to help each one find a job that is a perfect fit for the individual’s skills within the IDF. The attention is on the ability, not the disability, of each individual, encouraging independence and integration into society.
Updated: Nov. 23, 2016
The Characteristics and Practices of Long-term Adult Jewish Learners: New Perspectives on the Dynamics of an Adult Classroom
Within the larger domain of adult Jewish learners there is a smaller cohort that continues to study regularly over the course of many years. They have stayed motivated to learn until a point where the study itself becomes part of their lives and regular practice. As a result of their experience these long-term learners have a tremendous amount to say about what makes the learning important to them, how it took hold, and how it affects their lives. This dissertation is a qualitative study of these learners, drawing from their reflections to portray their day-to-day experiences in the classroom.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
A recent survey conducted by the Jewish Federation of Miami, found that in 2014 about one in four Jewish households in the Miami area participated in Chabad-Lubavitch programming. But truly groundbreaking was the breakdown by age group: 36 percent of families ages 35-47 and nearly half (47 percent) of families age 35 and younger engaged with Chabad programs. Over the past ten years, 71 Chabad shluchim (emissary couples or families) have established communities around the world catering exclusively to young adults (ages 25-39); of those, 55 have been established just in the past two years. Data collected from just 25 of these locations, over the past 12 months, has so far revealed impressive statistics: 108 Jewish weddings, 408 Jewish holiday and Shabbat experiences with more than 24,000 attendees, over 5000 Torah classes and discussions.
Updated: Jun. 22, 2016
Shrug off the “shoulds” of your grown up life and come back to a place where what you do for a living doesn’t define who you are, or how you live. A place where you’re never on your own, where play is important and a mid-day nap might just be the best way to spend the afternoon. Come back to the curious and courageous days of childhood. When every day held the mysteries of new friends, fantastic discoveries and audacious adventures. When we played with reckless abandon that left us with skinned knees that were always worth it. Come to Camp Nai Nai Nai, Waynesboro, PA -September 2nd – 5th, 2016, and be a kid again.
Updated: May. 15, 2016
Most everyone knows that Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, and a host of other celebrities are interested in Kabbalah, the mystical interpretation that’s part of Jewish tradition. But what about the young man who wants to learn the basics of Judaism because his fiancée is Jewish? Or the longtime seeker who’s curious to explore what draws her to our ancient faith? Or the grandparents whose daughter and son-in-law are raising Jewish kids – something the grandparents know nothing about? A Taste of Judaism® class may fit the bill perfectly – for them and for your congregation.
Updated: Apr. 20, 2016
When we talk about education in our congregations and synagogues, we often look at what is cutting edge, new, and different. Our institutions emphasize that the future of education must involve smart boards, WiFi, and swiping screens. I agree that we must offer innovative entry points for learning. Still, we cannot forget the most important aspect of learning: our peers. Paired study, or chavrutah learning, has been a part of traditional rabbinic text study for centuries. This form of paired learning acknowledges that there is not distinct roles of student and teacher. Rather, each partner in the pair teaches one another, and learns from one another. Together, they may analyze texts, question interpretations or arguments, and suggest different conclusions. Learning with – and from – someone else allows us to open up our minds to see something in a way that we previously were not able. We are taught In Pirkei Avot 1:6: Find for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend. Through chavrutah study, we come to understand and appreciate that our closest friends are our greatest teachers.
Updated: Feb. 17, 2016
Several years ago, I ran a 10-week fellowship at New York University called the Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF), which introduced Jewish study to college students with limited Jewish background. I was sure that the most important aspects of the class were the content of my source sheets, my pedagogical acumen and my ability to inspire. When I conducted research with the participants afterwards, they reported overwhelmingly that the most important aspect of the class for them was that they found friends, mentors and a sense of community.
Updated: Feb. 10, 2016
Yiddish attracts a wide range of Jews and non-Jews alike, and for a variety of reasons—religion (it’s still the spoken language for most frum Ashkenazim), politics (a language and culture that affirms Ashkenazi Jews’ rootedness in Europe and the diaspora, rather than in Israel), culture and history (despite the past half-century’s renaissance in Yiddish scholarship, there’s still so, so much more left to study and explore), and much more. And although I didn’t know it when I applied to YIVO’s summer program, there’s a similarly wide a range of Yiddish programs in existence today for the nascent Yiddishist.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2016
Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden One Year Fellowships in Jewish Studies 2016-2017
Registration is now open for the Paideia One Year Jewish Studies Program which offers a unique international Jewish studies experience during eight months in Stockholm, Sweden with the possibility of completing a 120 ECTS Master in Jewish Civilizations degree at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg, Germany. The studies are conducted five days a week, seven hours per day, under the instruction of world-renowned faculty. The program includes two year-long courses in Bible and Talmud; eleven intensive text courses running chronologically from Torah and Midrash, through Medieval Jewish Philosophy and Responsa Literature to Modern Jewish Philosophy and Literature; as well as various courses on Jewish life, calendar and holidays in relation to contemporary Jewish issues.
Updated: Dec. 09, 2015