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This essay analyzes the place of Israel in American Jewish schooling from the beginning of the 20th century until the early years of the 21st century. It utilizes curricula, textbooks, and instructional units, as well as other primary and secondary sources to delineate four distinct periods of Israel education. The subject of Teaching Israel is contextualized in the larger frameworks of both general developments in education as well as the dynamics of Israel in contemporary American Jewish life. The article concludes by delineating emergent 21st century patterns of Israel education that represent new directions
Updated: Mar. 19, 2015
2013 was a good year for prognostications about the American Jewish future. The Pew Research Center released findings of a national survey of Jews, and the data were rich enough to spark intense wrangling over their implications. For those trying to make sense of the current debates, or for those who think about the future by first considering the past, the Berman Jewish Policy Archive presents this guide to demographic debates of yore. In the pages that follow, readers will find discussions of method and interpretation dating back to the first half of the 20th century, but with a special focus on the three major National Jewish Population Surveys of 1970, 1990 and 2000-1.
Updated: Feb. 19, 2014
In response to the rising rate of intermarriage in the US, Israeli lawmakers called on the government to pay increased attention to Diaspora Jewry. The call came at a Monday meeting of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs. Representatives of the Jewish Agency, Jewish Federations of North America and the Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Ministry testified regarding the decline in Jewish endogamy, while MKs debated the best way for Israel to engage Diaspora Jewry to stem the tide of assimilation.
Updated: Oct. 30, 2013
These are some of the findings of the new Pew Research Center survey, conducted Feb. 20-June 13, 2013, among a nationally representative sample of U.S. Jews. This is the most comprehensive national survey of the Jewish population since the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey. More than 70,000 screening interviews were conducted to identify Jewish respondents in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Longer interviews were completed with 3,475 Jews, including 2,786 Jews by religion and 689 Jews of no religion.
Updated: Oct. 21, 2013
In the presentation “U.S. Jewry 2010: Estimates of the Size and Characteristics of the Population,” given at the Association for Jewish Studies meeting in Boston on December 20th, Professor Leonard Saxe reported that rather than declining, the Jewish population has been increasing since 1990. NJPS 2000-01, the last national Jewish population study sponsored by the United Jewish Communities (currently, the Jewish Federations of North America), found that the U.S. Jewish population had declined by 300,000 during the 1990-2000 period. Saxe and his colleagues found that the Jewish population has actually risen from about 5.5 million individuals in 1990 to an estimated 6.5 million as of 2010, an increase of nearly 20%.
Updated: Jan. 06, 2011
16 mm Postcards, on view at Yeshiva University Museum August 2010 – January 2011, brings to life the landscape and people in Poland through the amateur movies of immigrant American Jews who traveled “back home” to visit their families, friends, and former communities in the 1920s and 1930s. Intended to be viewed by family and fellow landsmen (friends from the Old Country), these films offer a rare, intimate and—quite literally—moving picture of Jewish families, towns and society in pre-World War II Poland. This exhibition was developed in collaboration with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and in cooperation with the Center for Jewish History.
Updated: Oct. 30, 2010
The Women Who Reconstructed American Jewish Education is a collection of essays about important but woefully understudied and underappreciated women outstanding in the field of American Jewish education. As editor Carol K. Ingall explains in the introduction, the eleven women profiled in the book “planted the seeds of social reform and progressivism in the soil and soul of American Jewish education” during professional careers that spanned the twentieth century. Few of these women’s names are known to any but specialists today, despite the key role most of them played in religious education, a central feature of modern American Jewish life.
Updated: Oct. 30, 2010
Gil Graff, “And You Shall Teach Them Diligently”: A Concise History of Jewish Education in the United States 1776-2000: Book Review
By publishing “And You Shall Teach Them Diligently”: A Concise History of Jewish Education in the United States 1776-2000, Gil Graff has accomplished a Herculean task. He has provided an accessible and crisp summary of the rich and variegated educational history of American Jews from the early national period to current developments, within the confines of a slim volume.
Updated: Oct. 05, 2010
The AVI CHAI Foundation recently published a summary of key findings from the 2008-09 Census of Jewish Day Schools in the United States. Commissioned by AVI CHAI, this third census was conducted by Dr. Marvin Schick. The statistics in this summary include grade by grade enrollments for every Jewish day school in the Unites States.
Updated: Nov. 08, 2009
Legacy Heritage Fund announces the launch of its Smart Board Project. Legacy Heritage Fund will partner with Jewish schools to make SMART Boards available to their students. Interested schools are invited to apply to participate in this project
Updated: Apr. 07, 2008