Areyvut: Teaching Jewish Ethics through Action

Summer, 2010

Source: Jewish Education Leadership, 8:3, Summer, 2010, 24-26


This article briefly outlines some of Areyvut's programs and describes how they emphasize practicing skills that help students choose ethically, exploring what it means to behave ethically, and putting students’ skills and content knowledge into a thoughtful context. The authors believe that careful planning around these three elements can significantly alter the experience and impact of programs in ethics education.


Established in 2002, Areyvut was created to provide children and teenagers with opportunities to think about and practice Jewish ethics in a meaningful way, supplementing the work in Jewish day and congregational schools. At its core, its mission is to infuse the lives of Jewish youth with the core Jewish values of hesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social justice). Its work with students and their families focuses on several key programs: the "A Kindness a Day Calendar", B"nai Mitzvah Consultations", "Mtzvah Clowning", and "Teen Philanthropy" programs.



"Though Areyvut values all efforts to help others, we suggest that tikkun olam is more effective, meaningful, and enduring when service and philanthropy projects are thoughtfully chosen and planned. By highlighting the complex processes that surround acts of kindness, we demonstrate to students, parents, and educators that determining a successful way to develop caring relationships with others is an ethical process that must be considered in its proper context."

Updated: Oct. 05, 2010