Environmental, outdoor adventure and sports camps are among those to emerge from an ‘incubator’ project.
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.
Students train to become Holocaust educators at the elite public high school’s unusual museum.
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.
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.
There will be no kosher meals. No Jewish holiday observances. And many — perhaps even most — of the students won’t be Jewish. But if philanthropist Michael Steinhardt has his way, New York City’s first publicly funded school devoted to Hebrew language and culture will open its doors in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, in September 2009.
The lack of sustainability of what is now a $2 billion educational system that caters primarily to middle-class and lower-class students should have been anticipated long ago, when the number of kids in private Jewish schools began to skyrocket, as far back as the 1950s.
The Jewish Week’s Carolyn Slutsky reports this week on efforts by the Orthodox Union to address the crisis facing yeshivot during the worsening recession. Ideas include starting a national health insurance fund for teachers that, with an estimated 3,000 members, would have a lower premium than most yeshiva plans and wrangling funds for Jewish education via vendors and shul donations.