Education & Careers

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

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

 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

 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

 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

 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


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

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

A Meeting Of Educational Minds

An interview with the heads of the new BJENY-SAJES
as they reframe a vision for the agency.

Associate Editor

When it takes seven syllables just to say your organization’s acronym, let alone its full name, you know you have a marketing problem.

Which is why finding a new moniker and “re-branding” are among the top priorities of BJENY-SAJES, the merger of New York’s two central agencies for Jewish education: the 100-year-old Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York and the relatively youthful Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services.

Robert Sherman and Deborah Friedman are in charge of BJENY-SAJES rebranding and restructuring.

What’s New In Jewish Education

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

Staff Writer

 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.
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