Jewish Education

My Daughter's Bat Mitzvah: The Four-Year Plan

My oldest daughter is not yet 9, and her bat mitzvah has already become a topic of discussion in our house.

Don’t get the wrong idea: I’m not one of those super-organized-plan-everything-in-advance-type people, and I’m certainly not that kind of mom (which you would know if you saw the backlog of forms and permission slips piling up on my desk.)

But my niece’s bat mitzvah is coming up next month, and her older sister’s bat mitzvah, two years ago, is still fresh in our memories.

Mentoring and Technology: Jewish New Teacher Project

The Jewish New Teacher Project (JNTP) is dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of beginning teachers in Jewish day schools and yeshivot.

QR Codes in Jewish Education

I'm often asked what I think will be the "next big thing" when it comes to technology and Jewish education. Recently, I've been focused on QR codes. You know those odd little squares that look like a cross between a thumbprint and a bar code? Scanning that QR code automatically provides you with information about whatever it was that you just scanned. A lot of information. Scan a book and immediately be able to search inside its pages or find the lowest price online to purchase it.

How will QR codes be the next big thing in Jewish education?

Playing Games With Jewish Education

08/23/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

You can’t avoid it anymore.

Computer-based games like Farmville or Angry Birds or Grand Theft Auto, available on laptops and phones and game consoles, have become almost as ubiquitous as social media sites like Facebook.

Whether you are a teacher or principal, a parent or grandparent, a marketer or consumer, a smartphone user or a paperback-reading commuter, you can’t help but notice how these games fill the downtime minutes of millions of people, and increasingly are the first thing they connect to when they boot up their machines.

Daniel Schifrin

When Memory Overpowers Us

05/23/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

As a rabbi and educator, not to mention as a parent, I struggle with the question of how to pass along the often painful legacy of Jewish history without having it become disabling.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

A Teacher’s Magic

Rabbi Baruch Pollack’s 60 years in first grade.

05/24/2011
Associate Editor

In some academic cultures, the best and ambitious rise to the top. They become principals, provosts, deans and professors.

Rabbi Baruch Pollack, at 83, still a teacher, still a jokester, still a magician. Michael Datikash

Schechter Rebranding Effort Takes On Hurdles

Conservative day school network hoping new name, ‘compass’ logo spark turnaround.

05/18/2011
Associate Editor

It’s been a long time since the Conservative movement’s Solomon Schechter day schools — challenged by shrinking enrollment, competition from newer community day schools and Hebrew charter schools, and a denomination in demographic decline — have had an opportunity to celebrate.

A class at Brooklyn’s East Midwood Hebrew Day School.Photo by Michael Datikash

Day Schools Get Cash, Tech Infusion

Two major investments include multimillion-dollar federation endowment, high-tech science ed partnership with Israel.

04/12/2011
Associate Editor

The past few years have not been easy ones for the Jewish day school world.

The recession and the related “tuition crisis” have hurt enrollment, although not as much as many had feared. Add to that the emergence of Hebrew charter schools, which many day school leaders worry will draw away their tuition-paying students.

But things may start to be looking up for day schools.

Children use a computer lab provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education.

Teaneck Parents Eyeing Public (School) Option

As Englewood Hebrew charter school moves forward, increased buzz about a previously unthinkable option.

03/22/2011
Associate Editor

 Soon after Jason “Yitzi” Flynn transferred his 10-year-old son from the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey to Teaneck’s Thomas Jefferson Middle School this fall, the phone calls started coming in.

Local Orthodox parents — sometimes as many as eight in one week — would call, wanting to know how his son was adjusting to public school, were the teachers good, was he managing to continue his Jewish learning, did he still have friends from yeshiva?

Jason “Yitzi” Flynn moved his son from a day school to Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck, above. Michael Datikash

Tough Choice: School Scholarship Or Summer Camp

Parents already reeling from the high cost of active Jewish life may soon be facing a difficult choice for their high school children between tuition scholarship for day school and a summer camp or summer-in-Israel experience.

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