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The crisis is real, and there is no virtue in ignoring it. The pressure on day-school leaders and boards is relentless, and the immediate question is how to keep our existing educational institutions afloat. But the strategic challenge is to imagine “the new normal”—including the new possibilities—born of this multifaceted crisis. In short: how do American Jews—and Americans in general—eventually turn this tidal wave of disruptions into (as the great social thinker Joseph Schumpeter put it) “a gale of creative destruction” in the Jewish education sphere? Looking beyond the current crisis, can we fashion new models of Jewish schooling that are intellectually, culturally, and economically stronger than ever? And can Jews serve as a light unto other traditional communities in America, who face similar challenges?
Updated: Sep. 10, 2020
The articles in this issue confirm that today’s Jewish teenagers are a generation of creative thinkers; they will not be the passive recipients of an ancient tradition. Instead, they are broadly categorized as a generation from whom Jewish wisdom, values, and tradition are most readily adapted when presented in a nondogmatic, inquiry-based approach, where their role is to internalize, make sense of, and produce their own meaning. There is a tremendous opportunity for educators and for places of Jewish learning if they adapt to these practices: a generation of Jewish teenagers is open and willing to actively participate in those journeys.
Updated: Aug. 17, 2020
After nearly two months of intense social distancing, we are all finding ourselves longing for things to return to normal — and recognizing that it might be a long while before that happens. But is a return to business as usual really what we should aim for? The extended disruption gives us a chance to take stock of how we’ve operated up to now, consider alternatives and even build a better vision for the future. We’re already seeing that happen across the Jewish world. Jews of all denominations have tapped digital tools to deliver the Torah and connection that had been largely analog. The heartbeats of Jewish life — weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs, studying Torah, cooking together, telling jokes and daily minyanim — have been reimagined to match the circumstances. And communities are stepping up to support their neediest members in new ways. But those have mostly been quick fixes, responsive and scattershot rather than carefully considered and coordinated. What if we had a shared vision for the Jewish future, so we could do more than just fumble our way there?
Updated: May. 18, 2020
The truth is, the ideas and technology that power “distance learning” are not new at all, and frankly they’re not even that effective. Study after study (since 1996!) continue to suggest that while there may be some promise to online distance learning, it has not yet been proven to be any more effective at actually increasing student achievement at a K-12 level than “traditional” learning. The most recent meta-analysis from last year bluntly states its findings right in the title: “A Spotlight on Lack of Evidence Supporting the Integration of Blended Learning in K-12 Education”.
Updated: May. 11, 2020
Corona Connects - Matching volunteers to opportunities in just 60 seconds, because a global pandemic calls for a global reaction
Covid-19 spreads through droplets, but kindness can spread through connecting. Corona Connects is making it easy for volunteers to find and connect with organizations that need their help. Stuck at home, thousands of college students and other adults are finding themselves with extra time on their hands and they want to help – but aren’t sure how they can. This website enables them to seamlessly find an opportunity that fits their interest and schedule.
Updated: May. 06, 2020
Reut’s work is based on a theory, methodology and technology that allows us to extract knowledge to help Israeli and Jewish leaders to ‘make sense of things’ in the face of disruption, and mobilize them in a way that brings the ecosystem to a new equilibrium. This paper is our first attempt to do so in light of the challenge presented by Corona.
Updated: May. 03, 2020
Demystifying sexting: Adolescent sexting and its associations with parenting styles and sense of parental social control in Israel
The present study examined sexting habits (sending text messages, as well as nude or semi-nude photos, and/or requesting the same from others) among adolescents, as reported by 458 students (101 boys, 357 girls), with the aim of investigating whether and how sexting correlates with parenting styles and manifestations of parental social control. An online link was published on social media, asking participants who meet the research criteria to complete several questionnaires.
Updated: Apr. 30, 2020
These are trying and unsettling times. Mandatory closures, bans on in-person gatherings, and stay-at-home orders have all radically changed Jewish education across all sectors. CASJE has curated a set of resources below that look at how these changes are testing education in a variety of settings, including: K-12 schooling, after-school learning, early childhood education, and higher education. What key questions and best practices can guide decision-making as we seek to adapt to new circumstances?
Updated: Apr. 30, 2020
Teachers at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (SAR) are among the many educators across the country whose schools are turning to online learning during the coronavirus epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged schools and districts to prepare for potentially extended interruptions to school attendance, a challenge that could be hard to meet even with ample planning.
Updated: Mar. 11, 2020
Israeli librarians finished first in a recent global competition, making 4,700 edits to Wikipedia pages in a three-week span. The campaign known on social media as #1Lib1Ref (“One Librarian, One Reference”), asks librarians from around the world to both update existing Wikipedia pages with valid references and create new posts altogether, in an effort to spread awareness and combat inaccurate online information.
Updated: Feb. 24, 2020