Search results for: History of Jewish education
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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
This book sheds new light on the life and work of Janusz Korczak, the twentieth century humanist moral educator and path-breaking social-pedagogue who is generally unknown in the English speaking world. In the two orphanages he led in Warsaw Poland. Korczak developed an innovative array of educational practices that motivated children from broken families suffering from serious social-interpersonal pathologies to re-form themselves during the five to seven years they lived in the orphanage.
Updated: Jun. 25, 2017
What do we hope to achieve from Jewish education? If we no longer view the ultimate goal of Jewish education as reducing intermarriage, then what are our desired outcomes? How does the dialogue about goals and outcomes play out in our multiple Jewish educational settings and in the relationship with the philanthropists who support Jewish education? In this issue of Gleanings, the ejournal of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary, we seek answers to these important questions.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2017
A century ago, Israel Friedlaender—scholar, communal activist, and educator—played a key role in such educational institutions as the Teachers Institute of JTS, the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Menorah Society, Young Israel, and Young Judea. A JTS professor and prolific writer, Friedlaender has been described as “the teacher of the Jewish youth of that generation.” Yet, scant attention has been devoted to exploring his educational thought and action agenda. This retrospective focuses on Friedlaender’s activities and impact in advancing Jewish education and considers the relationship of his legacy to current directions in the field.
Updated: Nov. 16, 2016
Accentuate the Positive: The Influence of Kurt Lewin’s ‘Bringing Up the Jewish Child’ on Postwar American Jewish Life
This article contributes new insights into German-Jewish psychologist Kurt Lewin’s work and its considerable influence on American Jewish educational theory and practice since the 1940s. Though he died in 1947, Lewin’s theories about the emotional needs of the Jewish child and the principles of effective Jewish education continued to influence American Jewish pedagogy long after his passing. Lewin, a social psychologist who fled Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and eventually landed at MIT, argued for the importance of inculcating a notion of “group belongingness,” or attachment to the Jewish social group, in the Jewish child as a critical factor in his or her healthy emotional development.
Updated: Nov. 09, 2016
“Jewish identity,” which emerged as an analytical term in the 1950s, appealed to a set of needs that American Jews felt in the postwar period, which accounted for its popularity. Identity was the quintessential conundrum for a community on the threshold of acceptance. The work of Kurt Lewin, Erik Erikson, Will Herberg, Marshall Sklare, and others helped to shape the communal conversation. The reframing of that discourse from one that was essentially psychosocial and therapeutic to one that was sociological and survivalist reflected the community’s growing sense of physical and socioeconomic security in the 1950s and early 1960s. The American Jewish Committee and its Division of Scientific Research offers an enlightening case study of this phenomenon. Jewish educators seized on identity formation, making it the raison d’être of their endeavor. But the ascent of identity discourse also introduced a number of challenges for the Jewish educator—conceptual, methodological, political, and even existential.
Updated: May. 26, 2016