Jewish Education

Hebrew Charters On Sharp Growth Curve

As schools open, Miami’s central Jewish education agency now eyeing partnership with Ben-Gamla.
08/31/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

 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.

Students chat with teachers at an orientation for Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, a Hebrew charter middle school in CA.

Prognosis For Day Schools Worrisome

08/23/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

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.

The Case for Jewish Day Schools: Toward A Bright Future

08/23/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

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.

The Jewish Classroom, More Wired Than Ever

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.

Kindergarten through 2nd grade students at the Jewish Academy of Orlando will have new iPads this year.

The Limmud Phenomenon

08/16/2010 - 20:00
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
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 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
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 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.
08/10/2010 - 20:00
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

08/09/2010 - 20:00
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

08/09/2010 - 20:00
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.

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