Search results for: History of Jewish education
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A leader in Jewish education policy for over 30 years, Jonathan Woocher influenced countless practitioners and policy makers. This article examines Woocher’s body of written work by investigating three of his pieces published over a span of 20 years.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
The history of Jewish day schools in Los Angeles can provide lessons that are widely applicable to the future of Jewish education. The number and variety of non-Orthodox day schools in the city surged in the late 1970s through the 1990s, creating the contemporary landscape of day schools. However, it is the first few schools, established before the number of day schools exploded due to court-ordered busing and other factors, that illustrate an important lesson for the future of day schools in Los Angeles and across the country.
Updated: Jan. 10, 2019
Ariel Burger, who was a student in Elie Wiesel’s class at Boston University as an undergraduate and, in his 30s, served as his mentor’s teaching assistant for five years, has written “Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel’s Classroom” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); the 288-page book is part memoir, part description of the courses — and the impact they had on a wide range of students for almost four decades — and entirely compelling.
Updated: Dec. 02, 2018
Political turmoil abroad also helped to transform the day school into a viable alternative to the public school, depositing on American shores a critical mass of European Jewish families long familiar with and receptive to sectarian forms of education. In the years that followed, especially in the wake of the Shoah and the rise of the State of Israel, Jewish day schools gained in both number and collective esteem. Once marginalized and derided, they came to be seen, in the words of the Orthodox Union, as the “most exciting and hopeful phenomenon in Jewish life in America.”
Updated: Oct. 03, 2018
What does it take to nurture small successes into larger successes in Jewish education? Often, we take a program or initiative that works well in one setting (say one particular synagogue school or JCC) or city and attempt to replicate it elsewhere, yet it fails to flourish. Yet there are, in fact, numerous stories of scaling success in Jewish education, with strategies that illuminate how this can be done. This issue of Gleanings aims to shed a light on these stories and strategies, with the hope that you are inspired to apply within your particular site or area of Jewish education.
Updated: Jun. 27, 2018
This article seeks to understand how leaders in non-Orthodox American Jewish communities squared an emerging affinity for Jewish day schools with their liberal commitments to public education. Focusing on the period between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, and taking 1968 as a turning point, this article explores the ways in which American Jewish leaders understood and formulated a new vision for Jewish education that could allow for both an increased commitment to the education of Jews within exclusively Jewish contexts, yet did not compromise their liberal political commitments to public education. Sensitive both to claims of antisemitism and to fears that they would be seen to endorse "white flight," American Jewish leaders carefully constructed a vision of day school education that they hoped would align both with liberal political commitments and to a concern for the transmission of Jewishness to the next generation.
Updated: May. 09, 2018
In Canada, the Jewish education systems reflect the local structures and institutions in which they develop. Quebec Jewish education was shaped by a linguistically and religiously divided society. Although the Jewish community of Montreal has contributed significantly in the social, political, and economic spheres of Quebec life, it remains largely unknown to the other local communities. The following article offers a historical context of the religious and social factors that have resulted in Montreal holding the highest percentage of students enrolled in separate Jewish day schools across Canada; this percentage remains more than 50% higher than the average attendance of Jewish school-age children in the USA.
Updated: Mar. 13, 2018
Book Review: Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education. Authors: Barry Chazan, Robert Chazan, Benjamin Jacobs
Behind a dry title, the slim Cultures and Contexts of Jewish Education offers the reader an excellent concise review of Jewish history from the Bible to the present. The authors draw on their respective areas of expertise to situate Jewish educational models over time within broader patterns of Jewish society and close with a surprising indictment of 20th century American Jewish education along with an optimistic educational proposal for the uncertain Jewish future of those “most engaged with modernity and its challenges” (p. xxii).
Updated: Oct. 25, 2017
Between 1990 and 2001, the Israeli Ministry of Education freely distributed to students countless copies of the books written by Holocaust author Ka-Tzetnik. This educational project has never been researched and, despite its magnitude and uniqueness, it has abruptly disappeared from public awareness as if it had never been carried out. The motivations that stand behind this initiative and the lessons it teaches about Holocaust pedagogy are the focus of this article.
Updated: Sep. 06, 2017
Prior to World War I, traditional Jewish parents in Eastern Europe provided their daughters with, at the very most, a few years of formal religious education. If girls received any schooling beyond that, it would be at a secular institution; it was common, in fact, even for prominent Orthodox rabbis to send their daughters to secular schools. This all changed thanks to a Galician Jew named Sarah Schenirer, who founded a network of girls’ schools—known as Bais Yaakov—that grew rapidly in the 1920 and 30s; today, most ḥaredi girls attend Bais Yaakov institutions. Schenirer has since become a hero in ultra-Orthodox circles. But the popular version of her story muddles some key details.
Updated: Aug. 30, 2017