Search results for: Kress Jeffrey S.
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Outcomes in the inter- and intra-personal realms are central to the goals of Jewish education, yet educators often struggle to address them in a meaningful way. In this article, we describe what we learned from facilitating an online community of practice for congregational school leaders and day school educators seeking to enhance their work in promoting social, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
To help meet the demand for more qualified staff, the Davidson School is launching a concentration in Disabilities Inclusion and Advocacy beginning in Fall 2018. In addition to the standard requirements for our MA in Jewish Education, students in the Disabilities Inclusion and Advocacy concentration will complete coursework in special education at JTS and Columbia’s Teacher College, engage in a year-long practicum in the field (with the option of working at a Jewish summer camp in a disabilities/inclusion program), participate in a number of co-curricular programs and learning opportunities, and enjoy cohort-based meetings and opportunities for reflection. We are currently receiving applications for our inaugural year; we are excited to begin this journey and do this meaningful work.
Updated: Feb. 07, 2018
Mussar, an approach to character growth emerging as a movement in the 18th century, has increasingly been incorporated into contemporary Jewish education. The purpose of mussar—the cultivation of character—is consistent with the goals of Jewish day schools and other settings. This article examines the implementation of a mussar-based program in a Jewish community high school. Particular attention is given to questions raised by the introduction of this program into a pluralistic school setting. Implications are discussed in terms of the broader goals of Jewish education.
Updated: Aug. 30, 2017
As appreciation of the impact of Jewish camping has grown, so have efforts to increase the number of campers able to participate in these settings. Inclusion of campers with disabilities, though not a new phenomenon, has likewise expanded. As more services are provided to campers with disabilities, more camps are hiring an Inclusion Coordinator to spearhead and manage these initiatives. This article explores the work done by these professionals and the challenges they face in doing so. The work of Inclusion Coordinators is discussed in the context of the evolving nature of camp-based inclusion efforts as a whole. The authors see inclusion at summer camps as an area in which much creative work has been done, and would benefit not only from additional resources but also from increased coordination as “a field.”
Updated: Mar. 15, 2017
Students in “community” (nondenominational) Jewish high schools represent a diversity of denominational affiliations, including those who affiliate with more than one denomination and those that affiliate with none. These schools strive to create communities in which students with varying Jewish beliefs and practices are, at the very least, respected and comfortable. At the same time, schools work to avoid internal Jewish communal fragmentation. In this article, the approach to diversity in three such high schools is compared. Each school, in addition to presenting an approach distinct from the others, has created opportunities for communal Jewish engagement through the enactment of practices that are rooted in Judaism and in the ethos of the school, and allow individualization within universal participation. Further, the range of approaches to Jewish diversity exhibited raises questions about pluralism as it relates to the Jewish educational goals of these schools.
Updated: Nov. 16, 2016
Experiential Jewish education has been experiencing a time of growth, during which theory development, research, and practice have established a strong voice for the construct. Much of the focus to this point has been on definitions (particularly the distinction between experiential and informal Jewish education) and on outcomes of settings often associated with an experiential Jewish education (EJE) approach. Along with increased understanding of EJE comes the potential to explore a more nuanced set of questions about the nature of educational experiences. This point of development of the field also raises question of the relationship of EJE and the broader field of Jewish education.
Updated: Sep. 18, 2014
Jeffrey Kress critically examines the idea of making supplemental schools more “camp-like” which has gained much momentum over the past year. He suggests a different way of comparing communal education and camps.
Updated: Jul. 30, 2013
The authors propose kinds of teacher reflection and discussion that can lead toward greater student engagement and encourage an organic development of informal techniques in the classroom.
Updated: May. 13, 2012
Jeffrey S. Kress, associate professor of Jewish education and academic director of the Experiential Learning Initiative at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, in an article in The Jewish Week writes that many educators have been recently suggesting to make Jewish schools more like camps, which provide meaningful, lasting experiences for their campers. He asks, what is it about camp that offers positive outcomes and that can be replicated in non-camp settings?
Updated: Apr. 01, 2012
Jewish day schools offer many experiences meant to foster the Jewish development of students. However, these experiences are at risk of being disconnected from one another, complicating a comprehensive approach to addressing issues of identity. This article uses a constructivist approach to identity development to frame the challenges posed by such a fragmentation. Observations of pluralistic Jewish day high schools are brought as illustrations. The author discusses an approach of scaffolded reflection as a way to integrate the identity—enhancing experiences in which a student participates.
Updated: Oct. 05, 2010