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This article sets up a dialogue between auto-referential (looking to self) and allo-referential (looking to the other) approaches to religious difference and applies these to education for inter religious understanding in Jewish schools. It begins by arguing that the multiculturalism of the 1980s and 1990s set up a duality of self and other, with the responsibility for looking to ‘the other’ (allo-reference) resting largely on the majority community and the licence to look to self (auto-reference) being given to minority communities. Within the Jewish community, multiculturalism supported and legitimated the development of an inward-looking Jewish identity-based education.
Updated: Jan. 04, 2015
As early as the mid-1990s, individuals within the Jewish community in the UK were discussing the potential of setting up a pluralist Jewish secondary school in London. Until 1981, every Jewish school in the UK had operated under Orthodox auspices. By 1999, three pluralist primary schools were thriving, and the political and Jewish communal climate was ready to support the development of a new kind of Jewish secondary school. A feasibility study in 2001 led to the formation of a steering group and the project was born.
Updated: Dec. 10, 2014
Why Do British Parents Affiliated to Progressive Synagogues Choose to Send Their Children to Orthodox Jewish Primary Schools?
Over the last 130 years, attendance by Jewish children at Jewish day schools in Britain has waxed and waned, until now, in the twenty-first century, attendance figures are similar to those of the 1880s, with almost 60 per cent of Jewish children attending a Jewish primary or secondary school. Recent research has examined this trend within the Jewish population as a whole, mainly concentrating on Jewish secondary schooling. Because of the impact this phenomenon has had on chederim and because of the fundamental differences between the different branches of Judaism, it is important for Jewish educators and leaders to understand what factors lie behind the choices that parents make when deciding on their children's schooling. This study investigates the reasons why parents who are affiliated to Progressive synagogues choose to send their children to Orthodox Jewish primary schools, concentrating on one Progressive community in the north of England in particular, and contrasting the data with that from two larger and older communities.
Updated: Nov. 05, 2014
LooktoLearn integrates Jewish text, themes and values with British National Curriculum subject through the exploration of art and objects. Founded in 2009 by experienced teacher and museum educator, Nic Abery, whose strong belief in integrated education has inspired the development of this innovative learning platform. What this means is that places like the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum are Abery’s “classrooms,” giving Jewish students a chance to connect with their heritage in a new way.
Updated: May. 07, 2014
First, the good news. The most recent census revealed that, for the first time in decades, the decline in Britain’s Jewish population has been arrested. In 2011, 263,346 chose to identify themselves as Jewish by religion in England and Wales, compared to 259,927 in 2001. Beneath the headline figure, however, all it not as it appears. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research, having recently published the preliminary findings of its substantial and substantive National Jewish Community Survey, demonstrated that British Jewry is undergoing a generational shift in Jewish identity, culture, and affiliation, one that has the potential to transform Jewish life in the United Kingdom – and not necessarily for the better.
Updated: Apr. 30, 2014
Where have all the Jewish primary school headteachers gone? As the headteacher at Britain’s largest Jewish primary, it saddens me to say that we are facing a silent crisis in Jewish education. There are currently six Jewish primaries in the UK without a substantive head running their schools. Where are all the leaders? The headteacher is the leader of the school. They establish – or at least are responsible for implementing the vision of the governing body.
Updated: Mar. 02, 2014
British Jewry should encourage higher fertility rates and usher in a nationwide learning project as part of efforts to counter threats to the “continuity” of the community. That was the stark message from Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner on Sunday, as she set out a four-point plan for addressing the challenges facing 21st century Anglo-Jewry during a meeting of the Board of Deputies last Sunday.
Updated: Jan. 29, 2014
The Jewish day school system in Britain is an amazing success, to an extent that it makes Jewish educators in America jealous. With the state meeting all costs of most of the Jewish schools except the cost of religious studies, and Jewish schools faring well in secular education, a very high proportion of British Jews send to Jewish schools. More than 50% of Jewish children between the ages of 4 and 18 are now in Jewish day schools.
Updated: Oct. 02, 2013
Writing exclusively for the JC, Prime Minister David Cameron has said Jewish free schools can be a leading part of the biggest shake-up of education in this country in a generation. Free schools are independent schools within the state sector – free for the children who go there.
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013
Designing a Curriculum Model for the Teaching of the Bible in UK Jewish Secondary Schools: A Case Study
This paper describes the process of designing a curriculum model for Bible teaching in UK Jewish secondary schools. This model was designed over the period 2008–2010 by a team of curriculum specialists from the Jewish Curriculum Partnership UK in collaboration with a group of teachers from Jewish secondary schools.
Updated: Sep. 01, 2013