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Gleanings is the ejournal of the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Our Jewish day schools are at a crossroads. For this issue of Gleanings, we asked the top thinkers, leaders, and doers in the Jewish day school sector today to respond to three basic questions: 1. What does Jewish day school education look like today and what could it look like in the future? 2. Why is this important for our collective Jewish future? 3. What should day school leaders do to help us achieve the results we want?
Updated: Feb. 07, 2018
Jim Joseph Foundation Invests More than $23.7 Million in Jewish Educator Professional Development and in Leadership Development in Jewish Education
The Jim Joseph Foundation today announced a $23.7 million cumulative investment in 21 organizations following a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to address two critical areas in Jewish education: Educator Professional Development and Leadership Development. The Foundation, which fosters compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States, received 154 Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) following the RFP’s release in April. The grant periods begin now and will continue into 2020 and 2021.
Updated: Nov. 01, 2017
At this precarious moment for ensuring a vibrant Jewish future, there are many priorities for sustaining Jewish life. But among the many fine efforts to ensure a sense of continuity of the Jewish experience – Hebrew schools, summer camps, and engagement of young professionals – there is a route of engagement that has perhaps received the least amount of attention, the least amount funding, and the least prioritization in the greater consciousness of Jewish pedagogy. I am referring to Jewish adult education.
Updated: Nov. 01, 2017
Nishma, a one-year-old sociological and market research firm, published a new study titled “The Nishma Profile of American Modern Orthodox Jews.” While the survey attempts to present an objective view of the Modern Orthodox community’s thoughts on religious life, the results provide instructive, and perhaps unintended, information about the respondents’ financial, rather than social or religious, concerns. Some observers have sought to focus on the answers it gives to potentially divisive questions about women in Orthodoxy, referring specifically to the “schism” about women serving as rabbis. However, the starker results of the survey reach a conclusion that, by far, unites all factions of the Modern Orthodox community. That concern is, in fact, how to support children and pay tuition for them to attend Jewish schools, how to keep kosher in a world with increasingly rising costs, and how to survive in increasingly expensive neighborhoods.
Updated: Oct. 25, 2017
In January 2012, a team of curriculum specialists based at Bar Ilan University in Israel were approached by a Jewish day school in Australia to design a new Jewish Studies curriculum for its school. The mandate was to design a curriculum model from first-steps that would form the basis for the new curriculum. This article demonstrates how combining elements of Fullan's ideas about school partnerships with Schwab's 'commonplaces' concepts can best meet the needs of the school's specific population and ethos.
Updated: Sep. 06, 2017
The instant messaging application WhatsApp enables quick, interactive multimedia communication in closed groups, as well as one-on-one interactions between selected group members. It has become one of the most popular applications, and is regularly used by both teachers and students for personal and group communication. In the present study, we explore student perspectives on the phenomenon of WhatsApp 'classroom groups', in which both teachers and students from a particular classroom interact with one another in closed groups. Our methodology combines interviews and focus groups with students aged 13-18 (N= 88).
Updated: Sep. 06, 2017
To understand and then appreciate technology’s role in our learning and our lives, we need to understand the essence of what technology is and what it allows us to do. When we move beyond brand names and the latest technical features we can see that technology is meant to allow us to increase our production, communication, and give us the ability to interface and interact with the world around us. Why then is education still discussing, and at times even struggling to validate, how technology can transform teaching, learning, and meaningful experiences in both?
Updated: Aug. 30, 2017
Induction and mentoring are widely considered in the United States and in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries as a basic universal and critical intervention for a successful launch of new teachers. Based on an expanded set of survey data, this article focuses on how Jewish day schools offer professional support and learning opportunities from the head of school, the administration, colleagues, parents, and the school community and how useful teachers perceive these resources to be.
Updated: Aug. 09, 2017
Conceptualizing the Role of Nonprofit Intermediaries in Pursuing Entrepreneurship within Schools in Israel
This article investigates the rationales and activities of nine nonprofit intermediary organizations operating in Israeli public schools, under similar missions of promoting school entrepreneurship. I apply a multiple case study qualitative methodology with in-depth interviews and complementary content analysis to investigate how those intermediaries operate and thrive. I depict how the concept of school entrepreneurship is formed and facilitated and reveal how state policy and intermediaries’ activities interact and shape schools’ realm, as shown in three specific paradoxes emerging from my analysis.
Updated: Aug. 08, 2017
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the differential relations between two teacher withdrawal behaviors: work absence and lateness, and two types of school ethics: organizational justice (distributive, procedural) and ethical climate (formal, caring), all in the context of school turbulent environment. Data was collected from 1,016 teachers in 35 Israeli high schools. The GLIMMIX procedure was used to consider simultaneously the hierarchical structure of the data, as well as the two dependent variables (absence and lateness).
Updated: Aug. 07, 2017