Search results for: eJewish Philanthropy
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Since the release of the Pew study in 2013, there has been much hand-wringing in the Jewish community, with some calling this, again, a time of crisis. There is fear of increasing rates of assimilation and growing disaffiliation from traditional institutions. This was especially apparent in the recent statement, Strategic Directions for Jewish Life: A Call to Action, signed by many respected colleagues. We do not accept this doom and gloom picture of a dying Jewish community, and we think the analysis and recommendations in the document are too limited. As leaders of Jewish social justice initiatives, we see instead an incredibly exciting moment in Jewish life, in which Jews of all generations are experimenting with new modes of practice, diving into learning, creating new Jewish cultural expressions, and drawing on Jewish wisdom and our Jewish traditions to inspire engagement with the world. Rather than mourning the changes in modes of affiliation, we should celebrate this moment and determine how the many different parts of our community might respond expansively and creatively. We want more new voices at the table and more ideas for next steps to be shared.
Updated: Nov. 11, 2015
Marking the 2nd anniversary of the release of the 2013 Pew Research Center’s Portrait of Jewish Americans, a highly diverse group of thought leaders from all around the United States has framed a “Statement on Jewish Vitality,” advocating strategic responses to respond to the challenges to the Jewish future. American Jewry now stands at a crossroads. Our choices are stark: we either accept as inevitable the declining numbers of engaged Jews, or we work to expand the community and improve the quality of Jewish life going forward. Despite the evidence of deeply disturbing population trends, the community is bereft of any sense of crisis.
Updated: Oct. 15, 2015
Nearly 100 Jewish professionals and leaders gathered earlier this month – along with experts in Jewish, Israel, and experiential education – at the third Birthright Israel Fellows training seminar. This cadre of specially-trained Birthright Israel staff continues to grow and play a significant role in the ongoing Jewish journeys of trip participants. Implemented by Birthright Israel in partnership with the iCenter for Israel Education, the professional development program aims to increase the quality of the Birthright Israel experience through more highly skilled staff with better tools at their disposal. The four-day seminar in Chicago included interactive trainings and in-depth conversations with master educators focusing on a range of areas, including how effective storytelling is a tool for education and engagement; understanding group dynamics and the importance of relationship building; how to create meaningful ritual moments; and how themes and values can be incorporated into site visits in Israel. Additional learning sessions focused on everything from different profiles of Birthright Israel participants to key strategies for facilitating small group discussions.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2015
Survey of Jewish Studies Professors Shows Deepening Challenges to Younger Scholars, Declining Enrollments
Jewish Studies professors are challenged by a diminishing job market and small but noticeable declines in enrollment in Jewish Studies classes in North America. These are among the key findings emerging from a world-wide survey of Jewish Studies professors, graduate students, researchers and other academics sponsored by the Association for Jewish Studies, and conducted by Professor Steven M. Cohen of HUC-JIR and funded by the American Academy for Jewish Research. The study draws upon an online survey of more than 2800 professors, graduate students, scholars, and teachers of Jewish Studies, conducted in 2014. The respondents constitute 60% of the AJS membership, an unusually high response rate. The survey report contains findings about course enrollments, salaries, retirement projections, productivity, time on the job market, careers outside of academia, and popular specializations.
Updated: Oct. 07, 2015
With the new academic year about to begin, nine leading Israeli artists will take up residency at colleges and universities across the U.S. through the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artists program. The program, run under the auspices of the Israel Institute, has been bringing pieces of Israel’s vibrant art scene to new audiences for the past eight years – and this year promises to be as colorful and thought-provoking as ever. The diverse incoming class includes two best-selling Israeli writers, whose works have been translated into more than a dozen languages; one of Israel’s leading composers; and other acclaimed and accomplished virtuosos of choreography, music, literature and the visual arts.
Updated: Aug. 19, 2015
Seventy young teachers from across North America are working with 2,500 underprivileged Israeli elementary school students to boost the students’ English skills. Meanwhile, the visiting teachers are getting a rare look behind the headlines of Israeli life. It’s all part of a novel immersive educational experience called TALMA, the Israel Program for Excellence in English, an English-immersion program for Israeli elementary schoolchildren. Operating for three weeks in July, TALMA provides a meaningful opportunity for schoolchildren who often do not have worthwhile and affordable educational options during the two-month summer vacation. In the long run, these students can leverage their enhanced English not only to bolster their educational achievement in high school and university, but also to land better jobs in the global economy.
Updated: Aug. 02, 2015
Birthright Israel has announced a new program: the Tel Aviv Urban Experience. The Tel Aviv Urban Experience is a first time 3 day event (June 7, 9 & 10) that aims to enable Taglit-Birthright Israel participants to experience contemporary Tel Aviv up-close and personal by exploring the fields of high-tech, fashion, culinary, art, dance, music, theater, photography and the energy that the city has to offer.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2015
A unique Jewish coming of age program for 11-12 year old girls, Twelve, has been launched this year in Melbourne, Australia, in response to a growing desire of many parents to show their tweens firsthand what poverty and disadvantage looks like in Australia. Over 50 families, or 100 participants, have signed up for the yearlong program to roll their sleeves up and get to work with their daughters to help people in need.
Updated: May. 27, 2015
Jewish Day School Educators, Tech Professionals and HS Students to Prototype New Ways to Use Technology
The Atid Day School Innovation Challenge, a joint initiative of PresenTense Group and The Jewish Education Project with the support of UJA-Federation of New York, is hosting a Hackathon to highlight and encourage innovation in Jewish day schools. The Hackathon, which will be held at Impact Hub on Monday, May 18th, 2015 will convene day school educators, technology experts and high school students for a day of prototyping and testing innovative solutions to educational challenges using the principles of Design Thinking.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2015
The Alliance for Global Good, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and Pears Foundation are partnering to launch OLAM, a shared platform to promote global Jewish service – volunteering and service learning, international development, and social justice advocacy – in order to support communities in need around the world. OLAM will serve as a field-building resource, championing, coordinating and educating for the benefit of existing organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. It will expand the global Jewish community’s awareness and philanthropic support of these fields; build and strengthen practitioner networks to facilitate sharing knowledge and best practices; and grow the number of volunteers and practitioners and direct them to Jewish opportunities for involvement around the globe.
Updated: Apr. 02, 2015