Jewish Education

The Limmud Phenomenon

08/17/2010
Editorial

There is a great deal of talk about Jewish Peoplehood these days, some of it abstract, some of it philosophical. But one of the most practical and hopeful examples of Jewish Peoplehood in action today is Limmud, a loose network of grassroots, non-denominational, multi-generational and volunteer-driven, informal Jewish learning experiences that has become one of the most compelling success stories in Jewish life.

Brave New Tech World Awaits Jewish Education

Special To The Jewish Week
08/17/2010

 This year I attended a Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration. There were hundreds of kids from Israel, San Francisco, New York and Turkey eating falafel and dancing to Hadag Nachash, Israel’s premier hip-hop band. 

 

What’s New In Jewish Education

Training Hebrew school leaders … Summer camp that stresses cuisine, fashion? … Hebrew U. researcher gets fishy.

Staff Writer
08/17/2010

 ith modest salaries and a distinct lack of glamour, status and perks, congregational educators — also known as Hebrew school, or religious school, principals — often struggle with feelings of isolation and burnout.

Participants in  the Leadership Institute for Congregational School.

Jewish Schools Shop For Retailer’s Cash

Competition fierce for Kohl’s department store’s $10 million in grants.

08/11/2010
Staff Writer

 For Charlotte Jewish Day School, $500,000 could mean complete overhaul of school-wide technology, construction of a brand-new playground, or redevelopment of its individualized curriculum for 110 students.

“Jewish day school education, especially in cities where you’re the only Jewish day school, isn’t always on the front burner,” said Mariashi Groner, founder and director of the elementary school. With an extra half a million dollars, “We would be seen as a force to contend with,” she said.

Students at Silverstein Hebrew Academy of Great Neck, above, are among the top contenders for Kohl's $500,000 prize

Questioning My New Degree

08/10/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I received an honorary doctorate from the Jewish Theological Seminary this spring. I appreciate the recognition, but it has prompted some disquieting questions.

Reform and Conservative rabbis often get these diplomas, usually after about 25 years of service. So the honor has more to do with survival than accomplishment. I suppose it could be said that enduring 25 years in the rabbinate, particularly in the pulpit, is deserving of special recognition. There have been times when I wondered whether a Purple Heart might be more appropriate, or maybe a Nobel Peace Prize.

Summertime, And The Speaking Is Hebrew

08/10/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

By 8 a.m., the air hung heavily across the Northeast, a thick curtain of suffocating warmth that quickened tempers and slowed thoughts. But Andrew, a counselor at the Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, bounded off the bus with his usual energy. 

“The camp has declared it a Yom Cham,” said Andrew, flashing a smile that seldom seemed to falter. On this Yom Cham or “Hot Day,” explained Andrew, Nyack campers would engage in a slew of water activities, a giant inflatable slide, sponge tag and lots of free swim in the brecha — AKA the pool.

Foundation Cutting Wide Path Through Jewish Life

With huge outlays, Jim Joseph Foundation can be a ‘game-changer.’ But its officials admit identity-building focus can be hard to measure.

07/14/2010
Associate Editor

 When Interland Corporation Founder Jim Joseph died in 2003, at the age of 68, few people outside San Francisco and the real estate field had heard of him.

Today, less than a decade later, the words “Jim Joseph” are among the most frequently uttered syllables in the American Jewish education world, at least among those responsible for fundraising.

Havdalah during the Birthright Israel NEXT fellows training weekend in New Orleans.

New Urgency To How We Teach About Israel

07/13/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The State of Israel is currently facing one of the most daunting and serious challenges in recent history. There is a war against organized state-sponsored terrorism, exacerbated by increased negative world opinion, propaganda, political posturing and harsh rhetoric that threatens the physical and political reality and stability of the Jewish state.

Will Women-Only Torah Study Soon Become Old-School?

The most remarkable aspect of the first full-time co-ed learning program just ending at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, a pioneer in advanced Torah study for women, is how unremarkable it felt.

I visited the experimental program for college and graduate students spending the month of June in a “student immersion program” that combined Talmud and philosophy in examining “the relationship between spirituality and community involvement and action,” according to the program description.

Special-Needs Families Fighting Jewish Day Schools

Painful battles to get their kids placed.

06/09/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

In three years, Jodi and Gavin Samuels may face one of the most difficult decisions of their lives.

Born with Down syndrome, their daughter Caily, now 2, will outgrow the Chabad preschool program she attends on the Upper West Side. That means her parents will have to choose between sending her miles away from home to a Jewish program for children with disabilities, such as one in Teaneck, N.J., or to a public school.

Jodi and Gavin Samuels with daughter Caily, who they are trying to keep in a Jewish school. Michael Datikash
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