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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