Section archive - Informal Education
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This article is an anthropological history of the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony in the Yishuv and Israel of the 1940s and the 1950s, when this ceremony radically grew in terms of the space, time, and economic resources devoted to it, as well as expanded to include girls. To explain that shift, I suggest distinguishing classic rites of initiation from the system of life-cycle ceremonies typical of modern consumer culture, which emphasizes the transition between temporal markers rather than social statuses and imposes no task on the birthday celebrant.
Updated: May. 16, 2018
Nearly 400 ninth-graders from the Interdisciplinary High School in Hadera accompanied students from the nearby Neve Etgar School for Children with Special Needs on a Tu B’Shvat tree-planting activity earlier this year. The Hadera students decided to organize a music and crafts activity for the special-needs kids a week later. The two groups might never have crossed paths if not for a program called Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), launched in September 2016 by ALEH, Israel’s care network for children with severe complex disabilities, in partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Education.
Updated: Apr. 11, 2018
Koolulam’s popularity has soared since it kicked off in Tel Aviv in April 2017, with Israelis jumping at the opportunity to come together with thousands of strangers — to sing. The NIS 40 ($11.50) tickets for recent Koolulam events have sold out in mere minutes. In under an hour, participants learn a three-part arrangement of a Hebrew or English song, and then perform it for a video to be shared on social media. Views of the videos reach into the hundreds of thousands, and millions in some cases.
Updated: Apr. 11, 2018
Foundation for Jewish Camp Rolls Out New Initiative to Address Issues of Gender, Sex and Power Dynamics in Camp Community
As more than 750 Jewish summer camp professionals, educators, philanthropists and communal leaders gathered on March 18 for Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) seventh biennial Leaders Assembly, FJC unveiled a new initiative to prevent harassment and abuse, sexist language and behavior in the camp community. The “Shmira Initiative” aims to change camp culture on all levels, implementing a shift in staff programming, training, policy and enforcement around issues of gender, sex and power. Shmira, in Hebrew and in the vernacular of Jewish summer camp, means guard duty, embodying the social and individual responsibility every community member must ensure a safe environment.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2018
Kayitz Kef is a program in Hebrew language immersion running at 10 Jewish day camps across America that its backers hope will grow to 48 camps in the next decade. For six hours a day, a staff of mostly Israeli counselors speaks only Hebrew to the campers as they participate in the routine activities of summer camp. English isn’t used unless there’s a safety concern.
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018
Museum Architecture as Spatial Storytelling of Historical Time: Manifesting a Primary Example of Jewish Space in Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum
The Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum (YVHHM) in Jerusalem is considered a spatial storytelling tool that successfully establishes an architectural dimension and thus displays, reveals, and interprets historical time during the Holocaust. The research method of this study is drawn from a case study of YVHHM and consists of a literature review of scholarship in museum studies about artifacts and exhibition techniques of storytelling.
Updated: Feb. 13, 2018
With a foot in the tech world and another in Jewish culture, the JCC in Palo Alto has transformed itself into a hub for local Israeli expatriates. Located on a sprawling 8.5-acre campus, the place known formally as the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has done what many mainstream American Jewish institutions are still attempting: attracting American Israelis, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, to programs at a legacy organization.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
This article proposes a conceptual model of experiential multicultural museum education that delineates teaching approaches in multicultural museum education. It is grounded in the framework of conceptual research aimed at identifying and clarifying key characteristics and educational concepts raised by museum’s designers and educators. The analysis it presents is based on insights learned during the design of the Interactive Jewish Museum of Chile.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
MOFET International Writing Competition for Students of Hebrew as an Additional Language on the Theme of "A Ray of Light in the Dark"
Every year before Chanukah, the International Forum for Hebrew Teachers organizes a Hebrew writing competition for Hebrew students on the subject of "Or - Light". This year, we decided to “shine our countenance” on a wider audience of Hebrew learners, also receiving works from students whose teachers are not members of the forum. In addition, the competition was held for the first time in cooperation with the Hebrew Writers' Association, and for the first time prizes were also awarded. The works were sent from around the world (including Israel), and the best were chosen by professional judges, members of the International Forum of Hebrew Teachers.
Updated: Feb. 11, 2018
“I had to live, breathe, and write my character”: Character Selection and Student Engagement in an Online Role-Play Simulation
This study explores the relationship between character selection and student engagement in the Jewish Court of All Time (JCAT), an online and classroom-based role-playing simulation of a current events court case with Jewish historical roots. Analyzing students’ responses to three questions posed in an out-of-character JCAT discussion forum, we tracked indications of their different types and styles of engagement and how they were associating this engagement with their character roles.
Updated: Nov. 15, 2017