Education

In a Rabbinic Class By Themselves

10/08/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Rena Rackovsky Bannett has worn many hats in her 53 years, both the literal ones she dons as an observant married woman, and also the figurative ones — artist, scientist, educator, grandmother. In another four years, Bannett may gain another identity, that of Orthodox rabbi.

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Election Notebook: The Politics Of School Closings

07/08/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
Now that alternate-side parking has been suspended on almost every conceivable festival, mass or fast day, there is a new front in the battle for religious political muscle in New York: School closings. Muslim community groups, backed nearly unanimously by the City Council, are pressing for days off in honor of two of their holidays, which would be in addition to closures on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, Christmas and Easter.

For Yeshiva Teachers, Austerity 101

07/01/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
School’s out for the summer, but for hundreds of area haredi and chasidic yeshiva teachers, the school’s been out of cash for months. Community agencies dealing with the impact of the recession say instructors and other yeshiva staff are among the hardest hit, many of them going without a paycheck since winter. “It’s never been this bad,” said Miriam, a teacher at Machon Academy in Queens, who withheld her last name for privacy. “We always had times when the money was late, but not like this.”

How Bad Is The Day School Crisis?

05/27/2009

Assistant Managing Editor
While no one can deny that yeshivot and day schools and the parents who utilize them are in a crisis over the skyrocketing cost of full-time Jewish education, there is no consensus about how unique and how critical that crisis is. And even less agreement on where to focus solutions. That schism was apparent at a forum co-sponsored by The Jewish Week and the Jewish Values Network in Midtown last week, as three rabbis with firsthand knowledge of the crisis shared ideas.

Are Scaled-Down Yeshivas A Bargain?

05/13/2009

Assistant Managing Editor
Forget the sports teams, the debating club, or the science lab. Get used to a more crowded classroom, with only one teacher. And if there are any computers, they won’t be state-of-the-art. Welcome to the low-cost, no-frills yeshiva, an idea whose time may have come in this era of financial struggle, and one that could be a reality as soon as next year. The Orthodox Union says 135 existing schools in North America are in discussions about creating new, discount full-time Jewish education for $6,500 per year, or less than half the current average of $15,000.

Are Scaled-Down Yeshivas A Bargain?

05/13/2009

Assistant Managing Editor
Forget the sports teams, the debating club, or the science lab. Get used to a more crowded classroom, with only one teacher. And if there are any computers, they won’t be state-of-the-art. Welcome to the low-cost, no-frills yeshiva, an idea whose time may have come in this era of financial struggle, and one that could be a reality as soon as next year. The Orthodox Union says 135 existing schools in North America are in discussions about creating new, discount full-time Jewish education for $6,500 per year, or less than half the current average of $15,000.

Jewish Groups Posting Latest Swine Flu Data

05/06/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
Jewish community organizations have been posting up-to-the-minute information about the swine flu epidemic this week, and as of Monday there were no known cases of the virus reported by any Jewish school or institution. As word of the outbreak spread last week the Secure Community Network sent out a memo and materials Monday provided by the Centers for Disease Control to hundreds of Jewish institutions, including federations and Jewish community centers. SCN has an existing partnership with the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security.

A Conservative Remarriage

05/06/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
In a bid to strengthen Conservative life in one of the Brooklyn’s most heavily Orthodox neighborhoods, the East Midwood Jewish Center has reached an agreement to keep 160 day school students learning on its premises. The accord will be a new phase in the 50-year relationship between the landmark, 85-year-old Jewish Center and the East Midwood Hebrew Day School, also known as the Harry Halpern Educational Center, and pump new life into an institution that has been struggling financially.

Resistance Immortalized

04/22/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
Faye Lazebnik Schulman lived a quiet life with her family in the small town of Lenin on the border of Russia and Poland until 1941, when the Nazi invasion changed her life forever. Her experience in the family photography business served her well when, at 16, she joined a group of Russian partisans and became a chronicler of history. A display of her work is at Columbia-Barnard Hillel through Tuesday, April 28, and she will lead a personal tour to benefit the Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation on Thursday, April 30 at Astor Center Gallery in Manhattan (events@jewishpartisans.org).

As Need Soars, New Help Centers To Open Here

03/24/2009
Assistant Managing Editor
With Jews throughout the New York area reeling from the effects of the economic downturn, UJA-Federation of New York is poised to launch a nearly $7 million initiative to provide assistance where it is most needed. Taking the rare step of dipping into its own endowment to meet skyrocketing needs for everything from rent subsidies to mental health and legal services, the charity will create seven one-stop centers throughout the city where people can get a variety of social services under one roof.
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