Jewish Experiential Education, Not Just for Fun!

July 25th, 2012

Source: AVI CHAI Foundation Blog


Mark S. Young writes that Jewish experiential learning is not "fun" which takes place outside the classroom as some would have it. Experiential learning as an approach to Jewish education has the ability both to strengthen one’s Jewish literacy (“literacy” broadly defined as knowledge and understanding of Jewish content) and to create strong, positive emotional bonds with Jewish life. Further, this approach can take place anywhere, both inside and outside the classroom.


He adds: "Serious experiential education involves two key elements:

(1) facilitation of experiences that present Jewish content in a meaningful and accessible manner and

(2) the opportunity for learners to reflect on these experiences to reveal and concretize their own learning, both in content knowledge and through emotional connection."

He beautifully describes two examples of experiential learning activities where the students "are having fun. They are also learning, and not just on the surface. They are engaging in serious discussion and gaining serious knowledge of Jewish history and tradition, working on their Hebrew language skills, understanding the origins of Jewish holidays, grappling with text, and learning about one another in the process. This is more than just having fun; this is creating significant opportunity for Jewish learning and literacy… This learning, this experiential education approach that engages and seriously educates, can and does happen anywhere."


Read the entire post at the AVI CHAI Foundation blog

Updated: Jul. 31, 2012