Yoni Stadlin was washing the dishes one day when he suddenly had a big idea: what if he started a new Jewish camp?
Stadlin had worked as the director at a day camp and had been involved with seven Jewish overnight camps, along with earning a master’s degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary in informal education. He knew his career would be in Jewish camping, but to make a pre-existing camp all that he wanted it to be seemed daunting. Then, the dishes, and the idea for a new camp model emerged from the soap bubbles.
The entryway of The Bronx High School of Science is dominated by an enormous, tiled mural depicting scientists and their empirical discoveries, along with a quotation by the famous philosopher and education reformer John Dewey: “Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”
But in the case of the only Holocaust museum located within a New York City public school, imagination accounts for more than just scientific advancement.
The most beautiful sunset I have seen in my life was above the rolling hills of Majdanek, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Orange grabbed peach, peach wrapped its legs around crimson, until all was gold, gold hovering over our weeping circle of Jews, gathered there to witness the worst of humanity. I was 18, out of America for the first time and thoroughly captivated by Poland, by its dark history but also by its Jewish renaissance, embodied that day in the radiant sunset.
When Arye Sufrin graduated from the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, his future looked bright: the new graduate got married, spent a year in Israel, and was set to return to the United States to work at Deloitte and Touche as a certified public accountant.
But things did not go as planned for Sufrin, who is now 24 years old. While in Israel, he began teaching students in a yeshiva and found the work more rewarding than he could have imagined.
The story of the Garden of Eden could be seen as a biblical truth, raising eternal questions of wrong vs. right, good vs. evil.
Or it could be used as a parable, a map of the human choices we face today, exploring issues of what is knowledge and what are the consequences of it in our lives?
The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) may be making a comeback. The education organization shuttered its doors in February and cancelled its annual conference this summer, but last week held a small, regional conference in Maryland where talked turned to what could be done to revive CAJE.
For the past several years, Devorah has spent her professional life giving workshops on Jewish meditation, practicing holistic healing and acting as a life coach, as well as singing in the tradition of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. She never thought much about seeking a stable career that would secure her future.
But, now in her late 40s and with the economy dipping, these days Devorah worries more about the practicalities of life, like a pension, retirement benefits and security, than she ever did in the past.
Rabbi Steven Burg reaches out to unaffiliated teens wherever they are — public schools or a certain coffee joint.
At Francis Lewis High School on Utopia Parkway in Flushing, Queens, the hallways ring with calls of “L’Chaims” and “Mazel Tov” from the jean-clad, largely non-Jewish teenagers watching as Rabbi Steven Burg, dressed in a suit and a yarmulke, ambles along with his rabbinic colleagues carrying pizza, donuts and Coke. Together the rabbis enter a classroom, bearing food and Jewish lessons for a meeting of the Jewish Student Union, a national project that hopes to bring a measure of Judaism to unaffiliated students in public schools.
In Prospect Heights, the Luria Academy tweaks traditional Jewish learning with a questioning, open-minded approach.
Deep in the bowels of a Prospect Heights apartment building that looks just like any other in this trendy neighborhood, down a long, winding hallway flanked on either side with burnished doors, 30 young children spend their days learning how to learn.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.