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.
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.
A rabbi and a private equity guy walk into a Starbucks in Times Square around 8:30 p.m. on a Monday. The rabbi, sporting a dark beard and a pocket-sized Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), orders a grande coffee with soymilk. The private equity investor grabs an iced coffee and a turkey sandwich, and pays for them both.
Back at school after an all-too-quick winter vacation, Carmit Federman is wishing she had used some of the precious free days to get started on this month's dreaded task: report cards.
For most adults, report cards hold a key place in their childhood memories: the nervousness upon opening them, the anticipation of parents' reactions, or simply the pride of coming home with a page full of A's.
When I was a small child in Houston, my mother would come to school every year to teach about Chanukah.
Armed with her guitar, wax-encrusted menorah, dreidels and box of latkes mix, my mother (laying her New York accent on a little thicker than usual) gave my Christian classmates a brief recap of the Maccabee story before launching into some songs. A blonde girl once requested "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer." The teacher looked embarrassed, but my mother laughed and said, "Why not?"
Berlin: The Jewish Museum Berlin is not a Holocaust museum. So insists the museum's new project director, Cilly Kugelman, who says, "We define ourselves as a German history museum that focuses on the Jewish minority in Germany." It's a distinction that may be lost on many first-time visitors to the museum's permanent exhibition, which opened to the public one year ago next week.
Yiddish is the "mama loshen" to most Jews, the "mother tongue" spoken by generations of parents and grandparents. To David Roskies, Yiddish is also the language of his schooldays: the "lehrer loshen," or teacher language.