Section archive - Informal Education
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In 2008 the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) launched the Specialty Camps Incubator thanks to a generous grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. This innovative new program, modeled after a business incubator, was established to create five new nonprofit Jewish overnight camps dedicated to a specific skill or area of interest while introducing and integrating Jewish culture. One of the goals for the new specialty camps was to attract Jewish teens who were not attending Jewish camp. The Jim Joseph Foundation engaged Informing Change (formerly called BTW informing change) to design and implement a multi-year evaluation of the program and camps. Their report presents key findings and recommendations from the evaluation.
Updated: Sep. 22, 2014
Experiential Jewish education has been experiencing a time of growth, during which theory development, research, and practice have established a strong voice for the construct. Much of the focus to this point has been on definitions (particularly the distinction between experiential and informal Jewish education) and on outcomes of settings often associated with an experiential Jewish education (EJE) approach. Along with increased understanding of EJE comes the potential to explore a more nuanced set of questions about the nature of educational experiences. This point of development of the field also raises question of the relationship of EJE and the broader field of Jewish education.
Updated: Sep. 18, 2014
The New York Incubator for Immersive Jewish Summer Experiences for Teens, a joint project between The Jewish Education Project and UJA-Federation of New York with support from the Jim Joseph Foundation, is a four-year initiative that will launch 16 innovative Jewish summer programs designed for teens from the New York Metropolitan area. Together with a broad-based publicity campaign and marketing training for existing program providers, this initiative will elevate the brand of Jewish summer experiences for New York teens. By the end of summer 2018, approximately 1100 teens will have participated in these groundbreaking experiences, with a yearly projection of 460 program spots for these experiences moving forward.
Updated: Jul. 30, 2014
Through the Topsy Turvy Bus Tour, this mobile educational spectacle is showing communities that we have the power to change the course of history and flip the environmental damage we see around us on its head. Through hands-on programming with activities both on and off the bus, over 2,500 participants of all ages have experienced this unique Jewish environmental education learning space.
Updated: Jul. 22, 2014
Rose Community Foundation (RCF) in Denver, CO announced the launch today of a multi-faceted Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Initiative, supported by a four-year matching grant up to $2,256,015 from the Jim Joseph Foundation. The collaborative initiative has five key components and is designed both to increase the number and diversity of high school age Jewish teens participating in Jewish education and engagement experiences, and to deepen the quality and diversity of those experiences. The grant was awarded within the framework of the Jim Joseph Foundation’s national-local funder collaborative, a group of funders interested in working together to expand and deepen community-based Jewish teen education and engagement.
Updated: Jul. 21, 2014
From Professor Lee Shulman's Introduction: 'This Readers’ Guide on Immersive & Experiential Education features a rich array of program descriptions, theoretical and conceptual analyses, policy briefs and program evaluations. Taken together, I am persuaded that we live in the most innovative and exciting era of ever experienced in Jewish education. The post - Pew eulogies for Jewish education notwithstanding, this is a Golden Age of thoughtful experimentation and ambitious invention in our field. I am encouraged by the parallels between these developments in Jewish education and exciting work in general education.'
Updated: Jun. 26, 2014
When Argentina plays its opening-round matches in the World Cup, Mariano Schlez of Buenos Aires will be screaming his support from the stands. But taking in his home country’s matches in Brazil isn’t all that will be occupying Schlez for the first fortnight of the month long soccer spectacle. Also filling his calendar are 14 “Jewish” events that he and his wife have organized in seven of the host cities. They include Shabbat evening prayers, beach soccer games leading into Saturday night Havdalah services, pickup games and Jewish heritage tours. Their goal is to bring together international Jewish visitors already united by a passion for soccer – known throughout the world, but not in America, as football.
Updated: Jun. 25, 2014
This paper examines award-winning Jewish children's literature as a medium to explore how religiosity gets constructed differently for men and women. We analyze three decades of winners of the Sydney Taylor Jewish Book Award, a prestigious annual award given by the Association of Jewish Libraries to an outstanding Jewish children's book. We demonstrate how these award-winning books produce and perpetuate gendered religious stereotypes that associate men with agency and women with communion.
Updated: Jun. 25, 2014
Roman Polonsky, Director of The Jewish Agency for Israel's Russian-Speaking Jewry Unit, noted that the organization is expanding its summer camp activities in Ukraine this year and will be dispatching more Israeli counselors to the camps than in previous years. 'It is important that we reach as many children and young people across the country as possible, in order to provide them with a meaningful experience and a break from the goings-on in the country,' said Polonsky.
Updated: Jun. 18, 2014
JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, together with three others opening their doors this summer, is part of a growing Jewish specialty camp trend that is picking up steam around the country. Since the first set of specialty camps launched four years ago — an arts camp in Manhattan, an environmental-themed camp in the Poconos, two wilderness camps, one based out of Atlanta, the other in the Rockies, and a sports camp in North Carolina — nearly 3,000 Jewish tweens and teens have enrolled. For more than a third, according to one report, it was their first Jewish camping experience.
Updated: Jun. 18, 2014