Hundreds of Jewish students will be in attendance at this week's General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in New Orleans. And these future community leaders are getting real-world training in Jewish activism on campuses across the country.
As the foundation prepares for dissolution, it focuses on partnerships benefiting day schools and camps.
In its latest round of grants, The Avi Chai Foundation has demonstrated a new strategic approach to its funding, one that reflects the reality of a foundation preparing to spend-down its nearly $600 million endowment by 2020.
Eleven years ago, when I got married- all heady from wedding gown fittings, arguments with the photographer and the fact my husband, a very secular Jew, agreed to celebrate our union in a most Orthodox, Jewish way -- the word “yeshiva” would not have been a blip on my radar screen.
If you had asked me whether or not I’d be inclined to send my kids to yeshiva, a haughty cackle would have emanated from deep in my throat: “no, are you crazy?”
Growing up in Riverdale, I attended Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, known as SAR, a private, Jewish Modern Orthodox day school. The school is built on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, and, in a manner somewhat similar to step farming, is composed of various levels, on and between which there are no walls.
Aaron Herman attends the Unpacking the Ecosystem of Digital Media in Jewish Education conference in New York City, which brought together funders, educators and developers to discuss technology and Jewish education.
Rabbi Michael Druin arrived on Long Island about a month ago with his wife and four children to become the new head of school at the Jewish Academy in East Northport, the only day school in Suffolk County, which this year added a fourth grade.
Rabbi Druin, 43, previously served for five years as rabbinic dean of the Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach. Born in California, he was 14 when his family became religious and decided to join Chabad.
As schools open, Miami’s central Jewish education agency now eyeing partnership with Ben-Gamla.
When New Jersey’s Hatikvah International Academy Charter School opens on Tuesday, it will join five other Hebrew charter schools operating in the United States, two of them brand new.
Launched only three years ago with the opening of the first of three “Ben Gamla” elementary schools in South Florida — and with planning under way for almost 30 more Hebrew charter schools throughout the country — the national Hebrew charter school movement is moving at a rapid clip.
Having spent almost 13 years in Jewish education, and the last four as a head of school, I am intimately familiar with the question of day school viability. I am fortunate to have been involved, in an advisory capacity, with Yeshiva University and Avi Chai, and I have heard a number of important, thought-provoking, and creative ideas to improve the quality and affordability of our day schools.
A provocative question is circulating in the Jewish community: Can day schools survive, given the reality of reduced philanthropic support in this economic climate? While this is a vitally important question, it misses two salient points.
First, there is strong evidence that the day school field is not only surviving, but is a resilient, thriving enterprise. Enrollment decreases this past year were smaller than originally feared; we have seen significant enrollment growth at 50 non-Orthodox schools nationwide; and school closures, while painful, have been few.
Also published in the Jewish Week's Fall Education supplement.
Many 30- and 40-year-olds will remember when a cart with a computer and monitor was wheeled into the classroom and students formed a single line waiting for a chance to use the device for a few minutes. Perhaps it was typing out a few lines of code in BASIC to move the cursor several inches along the screen, or perhaps it was creating an elementary art design.
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