Jack Wertheimer

Why Chabad Hebrew Schools Are A Success

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Last year the Avi Chai Foundation published a watershed study on Hebrew school education. One of the most intriguing findings was the emergence of a new force in this arena: Chabad-Lubavitch. The report, authored by former Jewish Theological Seminary provost Dr. Jack Wertheimer said that Chabad has taken a bold new approach to Hebrew school. Committed teachers, creative curricula, and a new program are infused with excitement and vitality.
 

Helping Others Or Ourselves?

04/13/2010

Having read professor Jack Wertheimer’s essay in Commentary as well as Ruth Messinger’s response in The Jewish Week (“Encountering Our Faith Through Serving ‘The Other’,” April 2), I believe the disagreement mirrors a significant and growing chasm within the larger Jewish community. The issue is not whether the Jewish people have a role and responsibility within the larger world. We are not the children of Noah but of Abraham. Noah built an ark only for himself and his immediately family. Abraham was concerned for the whole city of Sodom.

Generational Clash Over Values at Funders' Conference

Study presented at Jewish Funders Network finds little consensus on establishment values.

04/13/2010
Editor And Publisher

Phoenix — While conventional wisdom has it that American Jewry is suffering from a dearth of young leadership, the preliminary findings of a major report, to be published this summer by the Avi Chai Foundation, suggest otherwise.

Nonetheless, a number of tomorrow’s leaders do not share traditional values regarding support for Israel, Jewish peoplehood, intermarriage and collective responsibility, which is worrisome to the study’s sponsor.

Professors Jack Wertheimer, left, and Noam Pianko differ sharply on young Jews’ outlook.

Encountering Our Faith Through Serving ‘The Other’

04/01/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

In his recent piece in Commentary magazine, Jack Wertheimer, a professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary, tackled a very worthy and critical topic: the disturbingly high cost of Jewish life in America. Unfortunately, he also introduced a puzzling straw argument that the Jewish community’s embrace of service and service-learning programs has undermined its ability to make day school education, Jewish camping, synagogue dues and JCC membership more affordable.  

Serving Ourselves, Others

03/24/2010

 Gary Rosenblatt deserves our approbation for bringing Jack Wertheimer’s incisive Commentary article to a broader audience (“Can We Afford To Make Others A Priority?” March 12).

I would encapsulate my reading of Wertheimer’s main point by paraphrasing the late Sy Syms: “A Jewishly educated Jew is our best Jew.”

Service-Learning Project Brings Hillel Students Here

Program includes work in Harlem and the Jewish community, but raises questions for some.

03/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Thousands of Jewish students in recent years have spent their winter, spring and summer breaks building homes in New Orleans, working with the rural poor in Guatemala and helping staff human rights groups in Asia and Africa. It’s all part of an upswing in community service opportunities offered by organizations like Hillel, the American Jewish World Service, Jewish federations and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Hillel students assemble Passover packages in Queens.  TOP PHOTO: Doug Chandler

Can We Afford To Make Others A Priority?

JTS professor’s article touches off generational debate over parochial vs. universal interests.

03/10/2010
Editor And Publisher

A leading observer of the American Jewish scene says it is “madness” that Jewish communal institutions seem more focused these days on helping non-Jews than Jews.

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JTS Intermarriage Workshop Signals Change On Issue

First-ever ‘sensitizing’ sessions at Conservative seminary reveal movement in transition.

02/25/2010
Associate Editor

The Conservative movement’s long war against intermarriage may be slowly drawing to a close.
For decades, as the Reform movement reached out, Conservative leaders stuck to a harder line, hoping that by doing so they could discourage Jews from marrying gentiles.

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JTS Intermarriage Workshop Signals Change On Issue

First-ever ‘sensitizing’ sessions at Conservative seminary reveal movement in transition.

02/25/2010
Associate Editor

The Conservative movement’s long war against intermarriage may be slowly drawing to a close.
For decades, as the Reform movement reached out, Conservative leaders stuck to a harder line, hoping that by doing so they could discourage Jews from marrying gentiles.

Tutoring Trend Tests Jewish Values

Privatized learning seen as threat to communalism.

12/23/2009
Associate Editor

Several times a year, Jo Kay, the director of the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s education school, finds herself in a tricky position.

She has to decide how best to respond to unaffiliated families who — seeking an alternative to synagogue Hebrew schools — ask her if she can help them find a private tutor.

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