Section archive - Informal Education
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Children's Participation in National Policymaking: “You're So Adorable, Adorable, Adorable! I'm Speechless; So Much Fun!”
Policymaking is one of the most challenging arenas in which children's participation rights are implemented. The goal of this study is to portray patterns of children's participation in public policymaking and characterize various adults' reactions to children's participation. The study draws on 116 protocols of committees operating in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and interviews with an advisory group of children and young people who had participated on the committees.
Updated: Jul. 06, 2016
Current and Future Chidon Teachers, Coaches, and Participants - Over the course of last year, over four hundred contestants from around the county participated in the US Chidon Ha’Tanach. In May, 2016, over 150 qualifying contestants attended the Chidon Ha’Tanach National Finals. Registration for the US Chidon Ha’Tanach 2017 is now live! Please make sure that your school completes the registration form in order to ensure that you receive important Chidon communications over the course of the summer and next year.
Updated: Jul. 06, 2016
The Markowitz family had a wonderful time recently on two occasions at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City of Jerusalem. For both the Purim and Passover holidays this spring, the museum ran programs exclusively for families with children with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities. There were art projects, games, puppet shows, imaginative play and other sorts of activities one would expect at holiday programs for families. The difference was that in this case, the museum was closed to the general public and everything was adjusted to meet the needs of both the children with special needs, and those of their neurotypical siblings.
Updated: Jun. 08, 2016
Voluntary Work with Sporting Activities for Jewish Children and Teenagers: Commitment to Inclusiveness, Jewish Identity, and a Future Jewish Life – An Interview Study
Membership in Jewish congregations seems to be declining and modern society has been described as a challenge to Jewishness and to the future for Jews as a people with shared characteristics and traditions. Activities for children and teenagers have gained increasing attention, since such activities might be a reassurance of a future Jewish life. To arrange such activities is, however, demanding and individuals who commit themselves to voluntary work are essential. In this study, six members of a Swedish Conservative congregation, who were committed to voluntary work with sporting activities for children and teenagers, were interviewed about the way in which they perceived their voluntary work.
Updated: Jun. 01, 2016
Balancing Educational Practice with Psychological Theory: Lukinsky’s Study of a Bold Camp Ramah Curriculum
Missing from the growing literature on Jewish camps is Lukinsky’s (1968) pioneering study of the curriculum to teach responsibility that he designed for the 1966 Ramah American Seminar. Reviewing this work I discovered that Lukinsky—under Schwab’s (1971) influence—creates a rare balance between his own perspectives as an educational practitioner turned researcher with those of Erik Erikson, the famed developmental psychologist. I suggest that we read his work as an example to all who call upon theories of psychological development on how to use those theories to illuminate our thinking while not allowing them to dominate our educational discourse.
Updated: May. 22, 2016
This article introduces the idea of Hebrew infusion, based on research I have conducted on Hebrew use at North American Jewish summer camps in collaboration with my colleagues Sharon Avni and Jonathan Krasner. This study involved observations at 36 Jewish camps across North America (ranging from secular to Haredi), interviews with about 200 staff members and campers, and a survey of over 100 camp directors. My thinking on infusion is influenced by Netta Avineri’s concept of “metalinguistic community,” which came out of her analysis of Yiddish in the United States.
Updated: Apr. 07, 2016
March of the Living (MOTL) is a 2-week international educational tour for high school seniors to learn about the Holocaust by visiting concentration/deaths camps and other Jewish historical sites in Poland, culminating in a week-long excursion in Israel. Although the trip is primarily educational, there is recent research evidence to suggest that attendees may suffer from a variety of mental health sequelae. To determine symptoms of anxiety and depression, 196 Los Angeles delegation participants voluntarily completed the State -Trait Anxiety Inventory, composed of a trait anxiety scale (i.e., STAI-T) and a state anxiety scale (i.e., STAI-S), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
Updated: Apr. 06, 2016
Starting next year, the IDF Homefront Command will provide all 10th-grade Ihigh school students in Israel with search and rescue and firefighting training. At the end of the program, the students will be certified as independent first responders, and they will be certified to provide aid in times of disaster such as earthquakes or buildings collapsing during wartime until the Homefront Command can be scrambled to the scene.
Updated: Mar. 02, 2016
The latest blooming in Israel’s Negev Desert is particularly relevant in February, which is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. At Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran—a rehabilitation village in southern Israel that serves people with severe disabilities—residents benefit from green therapy, which uses gardening and nature to help give the special needs community a higher quality of life. Green therapy participants are brought to a greenhouse on the Aleh Negev campus, where they are greeted with flowers, shrubs, and herbs that they work to plant and care for. It is also a therapeutic haven where all of the senses are stimulated.
Updated: Mar. 02, 2016
Reshet Ramah’s mission is to use the power and passion of the existing Ramah alumni network to increase adult Jewish engagement and create stronger, more vibrant Jewish communities. (Reshet in Hebrew means “network.”) Funded by a grant from The AVI CHAI Foundation and the Maimonides Fund, with additional support from the Jim Joseph Foundation and a number of local funders in various cities, it is a grand experiment, one that stands to make a real impact on the fabric of the Conservative movement and the North American Jewish community as a whole.
Updated: Jan. 28, 2016