Part-Time Jewish Education: Harnessing the Power of Social-Emotional Spiritual Learning

May 30, 2017

Source: eJewish Philanthropy

Along with the development of programs for social and emotional growth, many congregational learning teams are refocusing their efforts more broadly to include the socio-affective domain. Jewish educators are asking how they may help their students develop social relationships that are embedded with Jewish values. They are seeking to create Jewish learning that nurtures the soul, honors spiritual curiosity, and is relevant to their lives. Jewish educators working in the part-time space are experimenting with a number of models that foster choice and emphasize the value of group work. The topic has been the subject of multiple keynotes at conferences for Jewish educators, and has been seen as the underpinning of efforts to “make school more like camp.” Schools are experimenting with project-based learning, with offering varied learning tracks to speak to an array of student interests, and with the infusion of mussar-based activities into the curriculum. Many congregations are also providing mussar-based professional development for their faculty. Furthermore, organizations outside of, yet linked to, congregational schools are expanding their reach. For example, one of the most successful national initiatives attending to the socio-emotional realm is being offered by Moving Traditions in their “Rosh Chodesh: It’s a Girl Thing” for girls and their “Shevet Achim Brotherhood“ program for boys.

As we continue to harness the power of such initiatives, it is clear that congregational and other part-time Jewish educators are experimenting with new approaches to address the whole person and seeking to offer a deeper and more meaningful context to Jewish life and learning.

Read the entire article at eJewish Philanthropy

Updated: Jun. 01, 2017