Education & Careers

Birthright Turns Focus On Trip Leaders

Launches ‘Taglit Fellows’ program to focus on problem of follow-up with alums.

Staff Writer

For 14 years, Taglit-Birthright Israel has focused its educational efforts on the thousands of 18-to-26-year-olds it sends to Israel each year. Now, the organization is broadening its sights to the Americans who staff the trips.

A Birthright session at an archeological site in Israel. Courtesy of Birthright Israel

Education August 2014

Jewish studies programs in unlikely places; Birthright’s new focus on trip leaders; Bracing for the campus Israel wars.

Education August 2014

As Pew Study Raises Concerns, Invest In Jewish Day Schools


This Opinion piece was written by the following: Dr. Scott Goldberg, vice provost for teaching and learning at Yeshiva University; Amy Katz, executive director of PEJE; Marc Kramer, executive director of RAVSAK; Jon Mitzmacher, executive director of the Schechter Day School Network; and Jane West Walsh, executive director of PARDES.

The Pew Research Center set off alarm bells this past fall with the release of its “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” survey, which showed that Jewish Americans are losing their Jewish identity — religious observance, denominational affiliation, and the desire to marry other Jews — at a shockingly high rate.

Indexing Day School Tuition

Schools trying to put new face on financial aid.


Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito, Calif., had a problem.

Like many Jewish day schools throughout North America, Tehiyah has plenty of students from lower-income families and a number from affluent ones. But it couldn’t seem to recruit and retain many middle-class students, even as it devoted increasing amounts to financial aid.

Learning What Makes American Jews Tick

Israel’s first full-fledged American Jewish Studies program is trying to bridge some pretty wide gaps.

Israel Correspondent

Haifa, Israel — While living in New Jersey and teaching at New York University during his sabbatical from the University of Haifa, professor Gur Alroey, chair of Haifa University’s School of History, realized most of the Israeli expats he met rarely interacted at length with home-grown, middle-of-the-road Jewish Americans.

Gur Alroey

A Revival Spreads

For isolated members of Poland’s Jewish community, a new online Jewish learning program.

Staff Writer

A Jewish teen at a public school in a town in Poland was struggling with his German-language studies early in the academic year last year. Already enrolled in an after-school, online Jewish education program run by a Jewish day school in Warsaw, he signed up for optional instruction in German offered by the program.

Born in Poland, Hadassah Buchwald-Pawlak designed an online Jewish education program. Photo courtesy Lander College for Women

Suffolk Day School Engineering A New Curriculum

Unique partnerships with Stony Brook, Touro Law School define growing Jewish Academy.

Staff Writer

Deborah Richman of Setauket, L.I., was incredulous as she watched her two youngest children demonstrate the robotic cars they had made last year in the fifth and sixth grades at the Jewish Academy of Suffolk County.

Students at the Jewish Academy of Suffolk. Photo courtesy Jewish Academy of Suffolk

Mazel’s New High-Water Mark

Staff Writer

When Hurricane Sandy swept into New York in the fall of 2012, Mazel Day School in Brighton Beach was hit hard. The recently renovated first floor, which held most of the classrooms, was filled with more than five feet of water. Everything — from textbooks and computers to the very floors and walls — was ruined.

Torah scrolls are laid out to dry after Sandy in synagogue that houses Mazel’s preschool. Photo courtesy Mazel Day School

URJ’s Digital Hebrew Curriculum Catching On

Staff Writer

When Sara Losch decided to add a computer-learning program to her Hebrew school’s curriculum, she thought it would give her students a dose of positive reinforcement. Little did she realize that the program would also provide an emotional boost to the staff.

Hebrew school online. Photo courtesy URJ

Adult Ed ‘Needs More Funding’: Skirball Head

Staff Writer

Mark Weisstuch is interim executive director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El, which he co-founded in 2001. Weisstuch has a doctorate in theater history from City University of New York and teaches Jewish history at the center on topics such as Jews in Poland and Eastern Europe, the Holocaust and the Second Temple period. In addition, he is administrative vice president at Temple Emanu-El, a post he has held since 1985.

Mark Weisstuch: Courses that deal with Jewish-Christian relations “tend to do very well.”
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