Section archive - Informal Education
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Cracking the Programming Code: The New York Teen Initiative and Its Contribution to the Field of Summer Experiences and the Lives of Jewish Teens
Phase One of the New York Teen Initiative (NYTI) has been a four-year, nine-million-dollar endeavor to redefine the New York City area’s Jewish teen engagement through the incubation of new and innovative models for summer engagement, a robust online marketing platform (FindYourSummer.org), and the provision of scholarships to participating teens and their families. The Initiative is part of a national effort—spearheaded by the Jim Joseph Foundation—in which 14 foundations and federations are working together as a Funder Collaborative to expand and deepen Jewish teen education and engagement in 10 communities across the United States.
Updated: May. 30, 2019
USY is embarking on a transformational change to evolve our model and program to meet the needs of our teens across the country. For almost 70 years, USY has been the foundation for the Conservative Jewish teen experience. As the Conservative and broader Jewish world evolves, so, too, do the needs of our teens and our program. This week USCJ unveils its strategic plan, the Roadmap to Strategic Success and Operational Sustainability, which calls for the organization to achieve a balanced budget.
Updated: May. 20, 2019
The qualitative case study presented in this article describes and analyzes the experiences of Israeli education students, who joined a delegation to Ethiopia last year. This journey opened the doors of Ethiopia to the Ethiopian community’s younger generation, most of whom were born in Israel, and to the non-Ethiopian Israelis.
Updated: May. 20, 2019
Once, we educated children; now we educate families. This change in focus holds true in Jewish education as well, as reflected in a recent series about family engagement in eJewish Philanthropy, which highlights the many ways that Jewish education is now understood to be a family endeavor. Whether in day school education, bar mitzvah preparation, or Jewish camp, an educator most effectively reaches the Jewish child by including the parent in that enterprise.
Updated: May. 15, 2019
The JustCity Leadership Institute (June 23–July 7, 2019) is JTS’s pre-college program, training high school students in the fundamentals of Jewish change leadership. Each summer, JustCity brings rising juniors and seniors together to live on JTS’s New York City campus, take college-level courses, engage in social justice work, and build community through vibrant Jewish programming.
Updated: May. 01, 2019
PJ Library in Russia has swiftly become the predominant Jewish family engagement program in Russia, with more than 7,800 children and their families currently subscribed. Forty percent of subscribing families report that they have no other Jewish experience aside from PJ Library. PJ Library in Ukraine launched this month as a pilot program in Kyiv, Dnipro and Odessa.
Updated: Apr. 18, 2019
A little over a year after its creation, Yeshiva Camp, the world’s only summer camp for descendants of forcibly converted Jews, has already had dozens of participants aged 11 to 25. They stay with the Venturas at their spacious synagogue in Sao Paulo, which the couple transform into a youth camp for each new group. “Connecting these youngsters with Judaism is only the beginning,” said Gilberto Ventura, the charismatic rabbi who established, with his wife Jaqueline, Yeshiva Camp as part of their Synagogue Without Borders congregation and outreach project. “What follows is connecting bnei anusim to the rest of Brazilian Jewry and society.”
Updated: Apr. 04, 2019
At this week’s Jewish Funders Network Conference, The Jewish Education Project unveiled what we believe to be the largest study of American Jewish teens ever conducted, with 17,576 teens participating. GenZ Now: Understanding and Connecting with Jewish Teens Today deepens our understanding of the complexities of being a Jewish teen in the United States today.
Updated: Mar. 28, 2019
Indian play at North American Jewish summer camps offered three sets of overlapping lessons. First, by providing activities created and understood as respite from urban pressures, including donning and removing so-called primitive faux-tribal identities, camps reinforced Jewish urban, modernist values and virtues. Second, as Indian play recapitulated the colonial process that had displaced actual Indigenous people to make room for the White, European settlers—Jews included—it provided Jews a vehicle to perform assimilatory and nationalistic sentiments. Finally, playing Indian offered camp staff members techniques for imparting visceral and emotional engagement with forms of spirituality they thought campers could absorb, particularly ones that overlapped with Jewish notions of Creation.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019
Veteran staff members play a key role in a camp’s success. They preserve camp culture, maintain traditions, and serve important roles in the peer-training environment that camps depend on. It is not surprising, then, that camp counselor retention is important to the business of camping. This study focused on five counselors from Jewish camps in the United States, all of whom were about to return for a fourth summer. The research explored common phenomena of young adults’ experiences as counselors, how they made sense of their experiences, and their motivations for returning to camp. The data offer insights to camp directors interested in increasing counselor retention.
Updated: Jan. 30, 2019