Special Sections

The ABCs Of American Jewry

Study of American Jews making its way into Israeli schools.
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 Tel Aviv – The Jews of America may be the largest Jewish community in the diaspora, but that does not mean Israeli schoolchildren learn much about them.

Sixty-two years after Israel’s founding, its school system still largely sticks to the Zionist trope that all Jews should live in Israel and those who do not at the very least should be actively engaged in helping support the Jewish state. In turn, there is scant study of contemporary Jewish life in America.

Changes At The David Project

With hiring of AJC veteran, the pro-Israel campus group looking to strengthen its mainstream status.
08/16/2010 - 20:00


Washington — In a continuing bid to transition from campus rabble rousers to more mainstream educators, The David Project has hired a Jewish establishment veteran to guide the pro-Israel campus organization.


In recent years The David Project has expanded from its original mission — confronting what it identified as radically anti-Israel groups on campus — to educating Jewish students on Israel.

Finding Israel’s New Heroes In The Lab

Special To The Jewish Week
08/16/2010 - 20:00

I am searching for a few good heroes, specifically Jewish heroes. This search has taken on new urgency recently, after Israel’s interception of the Gaza-bound boats unleashed a new flotilla of Israel bashing. The search is also driven by concern with growing rifts within the American Jewish community, a community no longer united in its view of Israel as always admirable in its public policy and conduct. Many communal leaders still long for the days of David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Abba Eban.

Israel Behind The ‘Inclusion’ Curve

While some educators believe the country’s model for special education is antiquated, parents don’t seem to be clamoring for more mainstreaming.
Israel Correspondent
08/16/2010 - 20:00

Jerusalem — “Inclusion,” the modern term for “mainstreaming,” is the dream of many parents of special needs children. With the right resources, they say, even children with severe disabilities can often sit alongside their “typical” peers and learn in the same classroom.

While some physically disabled Israeli children are benefiting from inclusion, the American model of full inclusion isn’t the norm here, according to educators.

Children with special needs and typically developing kids playing together at Shutaf’s inclusive summer camp in Jerusalem.

Claremont’s Interfaith Experiment

In Los Angeles, future rabbis, imams and ministers will train together.
Staff Writer
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 During her two years of rabbinical studies in Los Angeles, Claire Gorfinkel has sat in all-Jewish classrooms.

This year, some of her classmates will be Methodists.

Gorfinkel, a 65-year-old retiree from a job “in the world of social change” who is studying for the chaplaincy at the Los Angeles branch of the Academy for Jewish Religion, will be part of a historic program that starts in the fall semester.

Academy of Jewish Religion rabbinical student Claire Gorfinkel,

Montessori Takes Off In Jewish World

Outside New York, growing numbers of day schools are opting for the hands-on, self-directed approach.
Staff Writer
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 Houston — This year at Robert M. Beren Academy, one class of first graders learned the Hebrew blessings recited over different types of food the typical way: with worksheets and a chart on the blackboard.

Meanwhile, the Modern Orthodox school’s Montessori class learned the same material in a radically different way: by sorting plastic fruits and vegetables and cookies into baskets marked with the appropriate blessings.

Students in Montessori classrooms at the Beren Academy.

The Jewish Classroom, More Wired Than Ever

Special To The Jewish Week
08/16/2010 - 20:00

 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.

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. 


Don’t Like Hebrew School? Try Hebrew Camp

The Conservative movement’s Ramah camps debut Daber, a program to step up summertime ivrit acquisition.
Editorial Intern

08/16/2010 - 20:00

Not every summer camp has its own celebrities. But “Rami” and “Chani” a fictional boy and girl whose names derive from “Ramah” and “Machaneh” (Hebrew for camp) have become the new stars of Camp Ramah, the Conservative movement’s summer camp network.

But it’s not exactly a life of glamour for the “famous” characters, portrayed by Ramah counselors, who have the job of reinforcing the kids’ newly acquired Hebrew-language skills.

Ramah counselors and students interact to learn Hebrew, with counselors wearing “Rami” and “Chani” hats.

HANC-Plainview Finds Its Niche

With a $1 million infusion, and more pledges to come, a yeshiva that attracts a variety of families plans for the future.
Associate Editor
08/16/2010 - 20:00

The Hebrew Academy of Nassau County-Plainview is only a half-hour’s drive from Long Island’s Five Towns, one of the world’s largest hubs of Orthodox life.

But Rabbi Kalman Fogel, who has been HANC-Plainview’s principal for six years, doesn’t think his centrist Orthodox school, a satellite of the large West Hempstead institution, has much in common with the many yeshivas and day schools that dot the Five Towns and other inner-ring New York suburbs.

HANC spirit: The school now has the goal of growing 5 to 10 percent a year. Photos courtesy of HANC
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