Search results for: Krasner Jonathan
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“Jewish identity,” which emerged as an analytical term in the 1950s, appealed to a set of needs that American Jews felt in the postwar period, which accounted for its popularity. Identity was the quintessential conundrum for a community on the threshold of acceptance. The work of Kurt Lewin, Erik Erikson, Will Herberg, Marshall Sklare, and others helped to shape the communal conversation. The reframing of that discourse from one that was essentially psychosocial and therapeutic to one that was sociological and survivalist reflected the community’s growing sense of physical and socioeconomic security in the 1950s and early 1960s. The American Jewish Committee and its Division of Scientific Research offers an enlightening case study of this phenomenon. Jewish educators seized on identity formation, making it the raison d’être of their endeavor. But the ascent of identity discourse also introduced a number of challenges for the Jewish educator—conceptual, methodological, political, and even existential.
Updated: May. 26, 2016
Twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Act, by the Commission on Jewish Education of North America (CJENA), we are in a position to evaluate this initiative with historical hindsight. At the time, the commission was heralded as an unprecedented communal undertaking and a signal that after years of perfunctory treatment and neglect by the organized Jewish community, Jewish education was gaining recognition as a vital concern. While accurate, this assessment benefits from contextualization both in the American and the American-Jewish situation of the 1980s and early-1990s. The CJENA and its report mirrored American anxiety during that same period about the state of K-12 education, while initiatives to address systemic weaknesses in Jewish education were concurrent with the spate of reform efforts spawned to address the perceived decline in public education. At the same time, A Time to Act exemplified a more general malaise within the Jewish community about the effects of rapid integration on Jewish ethnic and religious survival.
Updated: May. 26, 2016
The most important questions for students to consider as a part of Israel education are not factual questions, but contested, debatable, and open-ended ones: What is Zionism? How can Judaism be enacted in the realpolitik, and how (if at all) should Judaism influence political and military decision making? Why is there a conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and what might it take to make steps towards a peaceful resolution? What responsibilities does the Jewish State have for Jews outside its borders and non-Jews under its rule? What responsibilities do Jews outside of Israel have to Israel and its citizens? These are not questions that can be answered in an Israel quiz bowl or on a multiple choice Israel literacy test. They have been answered differently in different times and places, and by those with different political and religious beliefs today. It is the very multiplicity of answers that make up the rich tapestry of true Israel literacy.
Updated: Mar. 16, 2016
Over the past two summers, along with our colleague Sharon Avni, we have been studying how Jewish camps use Hebrew (defined broadly). Our goals are to understand how Hebrew at camp reflects and contributes to broader trends in Jewish life, as well as to offer recommendations for incorporating Hebrew into camps and other Jewish educational institutions. We visited about three dozen camps, sifted through documents and artifacts in four archives, and interviewed over 110 camp professionals and 60 campers. Now begins the hard part: analyzing thousands of pages of notes, transcripts, program materials, historical documents and photos and synthesizing our research into a book. In the meantime, we can share a few preliminary findings.
Updated: Sep. 16, 2015
This article explores the career of Jacob Behrman (1921–2012) and the growth of Behrman House from a small Jewish bookseller to the leading publisher of Jewish religious school textbooks. Behrman’s success owed in part to his ability to appeal to the vast center, to gauge correctly his consumers’ needs and reflect their outlook and values, to eschew partisanship and play down ideological differences, and to swim with the tide.
Updated: May. 12, 2015
This article documents the Journal of Jewish Education’s acquisition by the Network for Research in Jewish Education, in 2004, and evaluates the contribution of the re-launched Journal to the field of Jewish education. I explore how the Journal contributed over the past decade in three discrete yet often overlapping areas, thereby realizing its editors’ vision.
Updated: Sep. 17, 2014
In 2011, Professor Jonathan Krasner published a book called The Benderly Boys and American Education, a most important piece of historical writing about American Jewish education. Here Krasner brings his comprehensive historical perspective to the PEJE’s Sustainable Stories series, offering some useful context about the notion of communal obligation and Jewish day school.
Updated: Dec. 23, 2013
This series of articles explores the history of Jewish Education magazine, later known as the Journal of Jewish Education, with a particular emphasis on its intersection with the history of American Jewish education and, more generally, American Jewish life. Part 1 covers the first fifteen years of JE's publication (1929-1944).
Updated: Apr. 16, 2008
This series of articles explores the history of Jewish Education magazine, later known as the Journal of Jewish Education, with a particular emphasis on its intersection with the history of American Jewish education and, more generally, American Jewish life. Part 2 covers the years from Samson Benderly's death in 1944 until the 30th year of JE's publication in 1959.
Updated: Apr. 16, 2008
This is the last in a series of articles exploring the history of Jewish Education magazine, later known as the Journal of Jewish Education, with a particular emphasis on its intersection with the history of American Jewish education and, more generally, American Jewish life. Part 3 covers the period from 1960 on.
Updated: Apr. 15, 2008