Section archive - Informal Education
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The Ramah Camping Movement has released the results of “The Alumni of Ramah Camps: A Portrait of Jewish Engagement.” This survey of more than 5,000 camper alumni was conducted by Professor Steven M. Cohen of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford University.
Updated: Feb. 22, 2017
This paper presents results describing the emotional experiences of Israeli high-school students following their participation in the heritage journey to visit Jewish Holocaust memorial sites in Poland. 13 Interviewees who participated in heritage journey to visit Jewish Holocaust memorial sites in Poland, were asked questions that touched upon their family connection to the Holocaust, the decision to participate or not to participate in the journey to Poland, their learning experiences regarding the journey, their views towards the moral dilemmas faced by Jews during and after the Holocaust, the moral lessons they learned and their experience of participation in the study itself.
Updated: Feb. 07, 2017
The Importance of a 'Heart-To-Heart' Conversation as Part of Emotional Education in Elementary Schools
Pressure of national and international achievements tests results in elementary schools dedicating most of their time to promoting pupils' achievements. However, does school dedicate adequate time to students' emotional availability to learning? Under the 'New Horizon' educational reform in Israel, homeroom teachers must dedicate one weekly hour to individual emotional conversations with pupils. This policy relies on development theories regarding emotional conversations as vital to learning processes. I believe in managing a 'heart to heart conversations' system shared by the entire school staff, a policy that requires overall solutions, but paves the way to pupils' emotional availability to learning and resulting success. Emotional conversation has many advantages for the teachers as well such as: getting to know children beyond their learning abilities, matching expectations and become more significant for their pupils.
Updated: Feb. 01, 2017
Experiential Learning and Values Education at a School Youth Camp: Maintaining Jewish Culture and Heritage
In our post-modern, globalised world, there is a risk of unique cultural heritages being lost. This loss contributes to the detriment of civilization, because individuals need to be rooted in their own specific identity in order to actively participate in community life. This article discusses a longitudinal case study of the efforts being made by Australian Jewish schools to maintain Jewish heritage through annual experiential religious education camps, coordinated in a programme called Counterpoint. The researchers’ aim was to analyse how a school youth camp can serve as a site for socialisation and education into a cultural and religious heritage through experiential learning and informal education.
Updated: Jan. 05, 2017
Our two organizations – Rosov Consulting and Middlebury College – have been involved in studying an initiative that is at a point of inflection, on the brink of transitioning from start-up to scale. We have had the opportunity to document and evaluate, from the time of its birth – really, since its conception – the Areivim Hebrew at Camp Initiative. With the initiative moving to a second stage of development, developing a co-brand with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, this a timely moment to share some of what we have learned. The goal of the Hebrew at Camp Initiative is to create a movement of Hebrew immersive and partially-immersive Jewish day camp programs where pre- and elementary-school-age children can experience, learn and enjoy modern spoken Hebrew utilizing the Proficiency Approach, a gold standard in language education. The concept is this: young children spend their summer at Jewish day camp; their ability to communicate in Hebrew develops dramatically, they develop a positive connection to Israel, and they have as much fun as their fellow-campers.
Updated: Dec. 08, 2016
The Repair the World Fellowship is an 11-month opportunity for young adults ages 21 to 26 to engage and challenge the Jewish community to address social justice issues through meaningful volunteering. Fellows will recruit, train, and serve alongside volunteers to bring about real community change around education justice and food justice. The Fellowship takes place in Detroit, New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Repair the World will provide training, a living stipend, communal housing, and other perks. The 2017-2018 Fellowship will take place from August 14, 2017 through July 12, 2018.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
Wouldn’t your heart soar too, if children left the High Holy Day children’s services kvelling? And their parents had to pry them away from hugging the teen leaders, who had showered them with love and learning? And the older teens, who had mentored younger teens, felt energized as they passed on the responsibility of Jewish educational leadership to their younger peers? That’s just what happens when our Madrichim Leadership Institute’s Leadership Groups assume responsibility for the High Holy Day youth services. Building upon lessons gleaned from the Union for Reform Judaism’s Campaign for Youth Engagement, the Rhea Hirsch School of Jewish Education at HUC-JIR, and the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s mentoring programs, we embark on an intentional design process to nurture multifaceted, teen-led Holy Day youth services.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
Laura Yares, Ph.D., the Director of Educational Research and Innovation at Hillel International, where she directs the Ezra Fellowship tells about the Ezra Fellowship and its effect on Hillel International: Beginning two years ago, Hillel began to pioneer a new model for its engagement professionals, one which thought about these young adults as more than Jewish concierges. Hillel’s Ezra Fellowship was founded to develop a cadre of engagement professionals who were not only engaging, but were also engaged with their own Judaism. The goal of the fellowship is to develop young Jewish professionals who can provide a role model of a young adult living an engaged Jewish life. Since its first cohort in 2014, the Ezra Fellows initiative has placed 35 fellows on campuses across North America. Named for the biblical scribe who bought the Torah outside, to the water pump in the middle of the market place, Ezra fellows are trained through an extensive fellowship learning program to play the role of a Jewish peer educator on campus.
Updated: Oct. 26, 2016
A new Jewish educational center opened Thursday in Petersburg, Russia, marking an exciting step in the city’s Jewish history – constructed on behalf of the Jewish community in 1896, the building was returned to them in 2005 and took another 10 years to restore. The new center, symbolically named ‘Sinai’, will host a kindergarten, a girl’s school and dormitory, and an entire floor dedicated to youth programs and activities, clubs and events
Updated: Oct. 26, 2016
Building on the success of its previous two Incubators, the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has announced support of five new specialty camps as part of Incubator III. The new camps will open their doors for the summer of 2018. Since 2010, the nine Specialty Camps incubated have served over 6,000 campers – with nearly half reporting that they had never attended a Jewish camp before. The camps continue to surpass enrollment and retention goals, proving the demand for Jewish specialty options in the summer camp marketplace. FJC expects that each of these new specialty camps will serve approximately 300 campers and 40 college-aged counselors per summer with a cumulative potential of serving 1,500 campers and 200 college-aged counselors by the summer of 2021.
Updated: Oct. 05, 2016