Challenge and Response in Jewish Education

Dec. 09, 2011

Source: Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 74, Issue 4, pages 307-325


This essay reviews the Applications section of the International Handbook of Jewish Education published in 2011.


Editor's article review (Michael Zeldin):

Moshe Krakowski reviews the third section of the Handbook, “Applications.” He begins his review by describing the breadth of this section, saying that “it addresses the full range of denominations, educational contexts, types of students, and social issues that impact Jewish education.” He describes the content of the chapters in this section as ranging from the formal contexts in which Jewish education takes place (preschools, congregational schools, and day schools of all stripes), to the settings for adult education, to the “informal, nonformal, and experiential programs of Jewish education.”

Krakowski also explains that this section includes chapters on teacher education, including the education of rabbis, and social issues such as gender and intermarriage. The broad sweep of chapters, Krakowski claims, does what no single article could do, namely, illuminates the challenges faced by the field as a whole. The chapters Krakowski reviews reveal a “flourishing body of research in multiple domains of Jewish education,” and at the same time “indicate that the field's response to systemic educational problems suffer from a lack of foundational consistency.” He quotes Shevitz and claims that “many Jewish educational contexts could benefit from an answer to the questions … “Can we learn more about what is really happening?”

Updated: Jan. 02, 2012