Educating for an Ethical Jewish Community

Summer, 2010
Steve Bailey argues for a proactive, formalized approach to ethical reasoning and behavior in Jewish Day school education. In this article, he proposes the Kohlberg Just Community model for Jewish Day schools as a gateway to graduating students who, after leaving the school environment, have been educated to become effective representatives of Jewish values in the community at large – on campuses, on school boards, in Jewish communal institutions and as advocates for Israel.
He concludes:
"From the above, we can infer that students participating in a Just Community educational setting  throughout their adolescence – having had the experiences of policy committees, town meetings, public debate, ethical analyses based on Jewish values, focus on mature reasoning in moral issues, fairness committees, democratic classrooms and community service – are well prepared for active roles in the Jewish community and eventual participation, as adults, in their community’s education system, community welfare organizations and involvement in Jewish social action.
Moreover, aside from contributing to organizations in the general Jewish community, these same skills contribute to the role that Jewish students play on college campuses relating to pro-active and reactive positions of Israel advocacy…
Indeed, a school-based Just Community is a gateway to a Just Jewish Community."
Updated: Oct. 05, 2010