Source: Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 73, Issue 2 May 2007 , pages 107 - 113
A translation of the introduction to Medabrim Chazon (Jerusalem: Keter, 2006), the Hebrew translation of Visions of Jewish Education, edited by Seymour Fox, Israel Scheffler, and Daniel Marom (Cambridge, 2003).(See the Journal, volume 71, number 1, Levisohn and responses in volume 71, number 2.)
Visions of Jewish Education is an effort by leading scholars to improve the quality of Jewish education through attention to its purposes and aims. The editors of Medabrim Chazon wrote this introduction for Israeli readers, who encounter in Medabrim Chazon not just a translation of Visions of Jewish Education, but the world of North American Jewish education. While Visions of Jewish Education assumes familiarity with this framework, it is likely to be foreign to the Israeli audience. Indeed, in order to convey some of the problems in translating Visions of Jewish Education for Israeli readers, they have decided to present a literal rendering of the introduction here. North American readers may be surprised to notice, for example, the need to explain the role of synagogues in Jewish education.
This special introduction to the Hebrew translation may also be valuable for North American readers of Visions of Jewish Education. First, it may be illuminating to see how issues of Jewish educational vision unfold in Israel; the introduction brings to light questions of language, identity, and institutional structure that are unique to Jewish education in Israel. At the same time, while Jewish education plays itself out differently in various parts of the Jewish world, the issue of vision is fundamental in each context, and the editors hope to identify some shared concerns across Jewish communities.
Having identified these concerns, they hope it will be possible for the book's audiences from around the world to engage in a conversation.
Finally, the editors believe that benefit can be attained from looking at one's own community from the vantage point of how it is perceived by different communities within the Jewish world. This can not only enhance the awareness of the very diverse Jewish world but also foster exchange within it.