Section archive - Informal Education
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We are thrilled to announce the launching of Maimonides Moot Court Competition (MMCC) as the premiere program for students to grapple with contemporary ethics through a prism of Jewish legal tradition. Powered by the Hadar Institute and supported by Maimonides Fund, the Maimonides Moot Court Competition builds upon the international competitions for high school and college students previously known as Moot Beit Din, in which participants defend ethical arguments grounded in Jewish wisdom in response to a modern ethical issue.
Updated: Jul. 15, 2020
For all of the six years that Sarah Benor, Jonathan Krasner, and I spent researching and writing about the use of written and spoken varieties of Hebrew at American Jewish overnight camps, we never imagined that as our book Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps was coming off the printing press we would be facing a situation in which most of these camps were making the painful decision to close for the summer of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we had some inkling around Passover that camp leadership was grappling with the implications of the virus’s severity, there was still a glimmer of hope that if anyone could figure out a creative way to keep camps open and safe, it would be Jewish overnight camp directors.
Updated: Jul. 12, 2020
On Becoming a ‘Real’ Jew: An Ethnography of Adolescents’ Identity Formation in a Jewish Community in Germany
In the course of an ethnographic investigation in the youth group of a Jewish community that included participant observation, group discussions and problem-centred interviews, I gained insights into the contextualised construction of Jewish identities. Analysing identity formation as a holistic form of learning, I identify two trajectories of socially embedded identity formation: appropriating aspects of Judaism taught in the youth group and becoming a part of the Jewish collective. Within the latter trajectory, I differentiate three sub-processes: forming and evaluating social representations of the Jewish people, ascribing ‘Jewishness’ to oneself, and experiencing communality.
Updated: Jun. 15, 2020
United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) is committed to supporting the Jewish informal education and Israel engagement field at this challenging time. We want to, as far as we are able, support innovative informal educational activities in the time of COVID-19. We want you to ensure that there are creative, exciting, engaging things for young people and families to do this summer that connect them to their Jewish identity and to Israel. Therefore, we are launching the UJIA Summer Engagement Fund (UJIA SEF). We have committed £100,000 to the fund. It will provide grants of up to £10,000 per project.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2020
Earlier this year, our foundations worked for several months on releasing new research from Atlantic 57 about young adults’ engagement and connection to Jewish life and community. We were set to launch right as COVID-19 escalated. We put these plans on hold as organizations responded to this crisis and focused on supporting their staff, families, communities and those they serve. We now know that COVID-19 is going to have a longer lasting and more significant impact than any of us could have imagined. While there is no right time to release research amid a pandemic, we have decided to share it now because we hope the insights in this report will benefit the field and help our communities.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2020
On April 30th, after a difficult and thoughtful process, the URJ Camps, and a few other Jewish overnight camps announced their decisions not to open this summer. In total, as of April 30th, almost 20 Jewish overnight camps will not be opening for 2020. It is unprecedented and painful for everyone involved. There are an additional 144 Jewish overnight camps, sharing their pain and sorrow over this decision.
Updated: May. 11, 2020
This article discusses the design and construction of the Hall of Remembrance (Ohel Yizkor), the main memorial monument at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. It describes years of complex deliberations among the leaders of Yad Vashem and the decisions they made throughout the years.
Updated: Feb. 17, 2020
To mark Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (#JDAIM) in February, ALEH, Israel’s network of care for children with severe complex disabilities and an international advocate for disability inclusion and equity, is launching its new ‘ALEH Bechinuch’ disability inclusion programming at seven Jewish schools in New York and South Florida.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2020
Siblings of intellectually disabled children are more empathetic, better at teaching and enjoy better relationships with their siblings, according to a new Israeli study. Researchers from Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa queried mothers and children about their sibling relationships using artwork and questionnaires. They studied “typically developed” children’s relationships with their disabled and non-disabled siblings.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2020
Improving Academic Accomplishments of Youth in Residential Education and Care in Israel: Implementing a Policy Change
Children and adolescents in residential-care facilities often have lower academic achievements that their counterparts who are raised at home. Traditionally, residential programs do not prioritize academic achievements, especially at the high-school level, a situation detrimental to their chances to enter institutes of higher education. The Israel Ministry of Education decided to implement a policy change to affect the overall ecology of youth villages (Israeli residential schools), aimed at emphasizing high school academic achievements as a key to future success. This attitudinal change led to the development of after-school study centers or evening classes within the village, applying non-formal teaching and learning methods in a relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, various support systems were developed in youth villages, all geared toward helping adolescents excel in meeting the challenges of high school.
Updated: Jan. 20, 2020