Section archive - Adult Education
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The Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, a project of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was privileged to introduce an opportunity for pluralistic adult Jewish learning for young Europeans. Melton recently piloted “Melton Online Europe,” a 10-week synchronous online learning experience. Fifteen carefully selected participants representing communities in ten countries on the European continent formed the virtual class. The participants were between 25-40 years old, and all of them are heavily involved in informal Jewish education in their own communities. nature of the topics in the real lives of the participants.
Updated: May. 12, 2015
Young people of Russian background, coming from secular homes and with little or no formal Jewish education, are considered among the most unaffiliated and at-risk of American Jews in terms of Jewish identity. But a comprehensive new study of that cohort finds that a Brooklyn-based program founded in 2006 to address the problem has produced some striking results.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2015
In a spirit of exploring opportunities for collaboration and learning, nineteen providers of adult Jewish learning gathered recently in Newton, MA. Co-sponsored by Hebrew College and the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, the Summit for Leaders in Adult Jewish Learning opened a long-overdue conversation about how to advance the place of adult learning in today’s Jewish communal landscape. Forty leaders crossed the boundaries of their own silos to consider common challenges, learn from respected faculty, and discuss the role of adult learning in building our Jewish future. Veteran organizations represented by Drisha Institute, Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, Hebrew College’s School of Adult Learning, Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, and the Wexner Heritage Program were joined by representatives of newer initiatives like Ayeka, Chai Mitzvah, Global Day of Learning, Kevah and Mechon Hadar. Our dialogue was enriched and cross-pollinated by a diversity of perspectives and multiplicity of goals, from engaging first-time learners to empowering adults to find relevance in deep and substantive text study.
Updated: Nov. 24, 2014
In recent days, Jack Wertheimer and Steven Cohen have offered a salutary reminder that non-Orthodox American Jews are “standing on a demographic precipice.” And backing away from the cliff’s edge, they tell us, will require focusing squarely on the young. According to their prescription, a return to Jewish flourishing will be secured by stressing the importance of day schools, residential summer camps that offer “serious Jewish content,” Israel trips “for sixteen and seventeen year-olds,” youth groups, organized campus activities, and efforts to stimulate in-marriage or convert gentile partners. It is hard to dispute that these are top priority agenda items – as they have been for some time. And Wertheimer and Cohen are right to sound the alarm; with the ground moving fast under our feet, it is too late for complacency.
Updated: Nov. 24, 2014
In its largest expansion to date, the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (popularly known as JLIC) has expanded to four new universities: Columbia, Binghamton (New York), Wisconsin and Drexel (Philadelphia). JLIC, a program of the Orthodox Union in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, places an Orthodox couple on a secular college campus. Once there, the couples provide programming for Orthodox students as well as encourages close-knit relationships with students who otherwise could be lost in the predominantly secular environment.
Updated: Nov. 05, 2014
Every Friday, a small group of congregants attends Rabbi Greg Wall’s class, “Adrift in a Sea of Talmud,” aboard a 23-foot sailboat named Enough, which is owned by a member of the Beit Chaverim Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk. The synagogue prides itself in welcoming Jews, no matter what their level of observance is. The notion of holding a floating Talmud class is consistent with Wall’s past efforts to find new ways to connect Jews with Judaism. It’s an approach that involved many music events during his tenure at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue, in Manhattan’s East Village, from 2009 to 2012.
Updated: Oct. 22, 2014
Hazak is the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's organization for mature Jews. It provides programming for people 55 and older who are members of our affiliated congregations. Hazak complements congregational adult education programs with specially designed social, spiritual and educational components for them. Hazak members not only have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis with peers from their own congregations but with fellow Jews from other affiliated Conservative congregations in their community, region and nation.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2014
Between Pluralism and Secularism: An American Jewish Educator’s Journey into the World of Israeli Secular Torah Study
Rabbi David Kasher, Director of Education at Kevah, an organization with a distinctly pluralistic philosophy that seeks to bring traditional Jewish learning to the whole spectrum of the Jewish community, tells of his journey to Israel this past summer to meet with key figures in the schools and programs in which secular Israelis are today studying Torah – to observe them, to learn from them, and to reach out to them. At Kolot, Atid BaMidbar, ZIKA, the Beit Midrash at Oranim and Bina: The Secular Yeshiva, he discovered the ways in which his Israeli counterparts and he are clearly doing the same kind of work, though the unique characteristics of Israeli society make that work look very different.
Updated: Jan. 15, 2014
The campus of Kiryat Moriah in Jerusalem was the setting this past weekend for a three-day Limmud FSU Festival. Over 800 young Russian-speaking Jews from Israel and around the world attended the festival which was held in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Begin Heritage Center and the Hashava Company. The program included more than 120 lectures and workshops on fascinating art, culture, philosophy, religion and more.
Updated: Nov. 28, 2013
As educators, synagogue rabbis frequently devote a great deal of time to teaching adults. Yet little empirical research exists about what they do. This study describes and analyzes the teaching of three congregational rabbis who have excellent reputations as teachers of adults. In particular, it focuses on how these rabbis incorporate personal stories into their teaching and examines the ways that sharing such stories is integral to their teaching approaches. Rabbis who use stories in their teaching potentially occupy a crucial place in the Jewish identity development of their adult learners. This study offers rabbinical seminaries recommendations for how to incorporate the results of the research into their curriculum.
Updated: Nov. 28, 2013