T he North American Jewish Day School Convention begins Sunday in Los Angeles (Feb. 6-8) to explore the future of education. Left off the schedule is a session on how to apply the “No Child Left Behind” concept to create a standard of knowledge proficiency for every Jewish child. How might this work in our day school environment? We asked the Orthodox Union’s Rabbi Steven Burg to outline an approach to experiential education that extends into the home. According to Rabbi Burg, every Jewish child should have a well-rounded curriculum that includes the following:
A lthough we are now in the 2010s, we don’t have to look back centuries to find legendary sources of Jewish wisdom. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (1934-1983) was one of the most important scholars of our generation and is regarded as a significant factor in helping make Judaism relevant in the modern age. We close out this first month of 2011 with a special opportunity to spend Sunday, Jan. 30 immersed in Rabbi Kaplan’s practical wisdom at the 7th Annual Day of Kabbalah at the JCC (jccmanhattan.org/makom). Here are some of Kaplan’s words to live by for the 21st century.
R abbi Sidney Kleiman of the historic Congregation Adereth El will be celebrating his 98th birthday later this month. He is both the longest-serving and oldest active congregational rabbi in the United States. Rabbi Kleiman, now Adereth El’s rabbi emeritus, has served the congregation since 1939. We caught up with him for this special occasion.
W ith the New Year season upon us, authors are crowding the morning talk shows to hawk their new self-help books. Take those talking heads as you may, some of the best self-help comes from our own Jewish wisdom. To offer practical Jewish advice, we asked the always profound and prolific Rabbi Joseph Telushkin to offer us a perspective and insight for the year ahead.
Is the institution of marriage on the verge of extinction? Referring to declining marriage rates and changing views toward marriage in the United States, a recent cover of Time magazine asked: “Who Needs Marriage?” What is the Jewish perspective on this important community issue?
L ast week, Google, in conjunction with a research team based at Harvard, released a new online tool called the Ngram Viewer that tracks culture through the words of 5.2 million books (4 percent of all books published). They call the quantitative analysis of this vast amount of data “culturomics,” a new research method in the humanities, linguistics and social science. JInsider test-drove the Ngram viewer (which can be found at www.culturomics.org) using Jewish/religious terms to evaluate how often a word or phrase has appeared and how usage has changed over time.
With Mark Madoff’s suicide over the weekend, we witnessed the burden of a father’s sins. The Madoff family’s tragic narrative reinforces why a person’s legacy truly matters. To expand on this teachable moment, JInsider looked to better understand personal legacy through the perspective of Jewish wisdom. (See full video discussions on www.jinsider.com.)
Chanukah 5771 has brought a bumper crop of music videos destined to become holiday classics. These viral videos became breakout hits by using comedy and quirkiness combined with genuine talent to communicate universal messages. Here is a roundup of 5771 hits along with JInsider’s “Chanukah Classic of All Time.” (All videos can be viewed at www.jinsider.com)
“Candlelight” by Maccabeats
Premise: A hip-hop twist on the Chanukah story and traditions.
With Chanukah and holiday season weekends coming up, it is extended family time again. To help promote shalom bayit (“peaceful home”), JInsider offers our Jewish Third Rail Strategy for avoiding treacherous conversation topics during these intergenerational and interdenominational family get-togethers.