Informal Education (339 items)To section archive
Autobiographies of B’nai Mitzvah: The Meaning of B’nai Mitzvah and the Role Adolescents Believe Adults Play in the Process
B’nai mitzvah are a significant motivation for engagement in Jewish education. Professionals and families devote resources in aiding young people in becoming b’nai mitzvah. This article examines the adolescent narratives of b’nai mitzvah and the ways in which adults feature in their stories. Their accounts surface a belief that adults support them through pep talks, expressions of pride, helping them make choices, and being with them through the process. Teens see themselves responsible for their choices and achievements, but are appreciative of support. This article raises questions about what ways and by whom adolescents should be guided and supported.
Updated: Aug. 18, 2020
The values that begin to solidify during adolescence can be steered by experiential education programs designed to inculcate a set of attitudes and behaviors in their participants. One such program, Jewish Youth Philanthropy, socializes adolescents into recognizing the importance of donating both to Jewish causes and within a Jewish framework. This paper examines the relationship between these programs and the development of Jewish and donor identities during adolescence. It suggests that surveyed Jewish youth philanthropy participants are more likely than non-participants to perceive themselves as donors, but that their Jewish identities are viewed as justifications for prosocial behavior, not drivers of it.
Updated: Aug. 18, 2020
We are thrilled to announce the launching of Maimonides Moot Court Competition (MMCC) as the premiere program for students to grapple with contemporary ethics through a prism of Jewish legal tradition. Powered by the Hadar Institute and supported by Maimonides Fund, the Maimonides Moot Court Competition builds upon the international competitions for high school and college students previously known as Moot Beit Din, in which participants defend ethical arguments grounded in Jewish wisdom in response to a modern ethical issue.
Updated: Jul. 15, 2020
For all of the six years that Sarah Benor, Jonathan Krasner, and I spent researching and writing about the use of written and spoken varieties of Hebrew at American Jewish overnight camps, we never imagined that as our book Hebrew Infusion: Language and Community at American Jewish Summer Camps was coming off the printing press we would be facing a situation in which most of these camps were making the painful decision to close for the summer of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though we had some inkling around Passover that camp leadership was grappling with the implications of the virus’s severity, there was still a glimmer of hope that if anyone could figure out a creative way to keep camps open and safe, it would be Jewish overnight camp directors.
Updated: Jul. 12, 2020