Education & Careers

Familiar Programs, New Demographic

Special To The Jewish Week
08/18/2009
Although Gail Rusgo and her husband are Orthodox and attended day schools, they’ve decided not to have their children follow in their educational footsteps. Rusgo, a teacher, told her rabbi at the Lido Beach Synagogue on Long Island, “I’m going to be sending my children to public schools, and we need more children.”

Reimagining Hebrew School

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
The story of the Garden of Eden could be seen as a biblical truth, raising eternal questions of wrong vs. right, good vs. evil. Or it could be used as a parable, a map of the human choices we face today, exploring issues of what is knowledge and what are the consequences of it in our lives?

Not Just For Olim Anymore

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, several English speakers circled around a pair of large wooden tables trying to learn Hebrew. They were in Ahuva Tal-Hollander’s program at West Side Institutional Synagogue, one of the largest Hebrew language programs in the city. Some were secular Jews who were dating someone religious or Israeli; others had become religious and wanted to better understand the Torah; and still others were American medical students preparing for classes in Israel this fall.

An Unplanned Lesson

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
Near the end of the 2007-08 academic year, some unusual news about one class at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan came home to Miriam Akabas and her daughter Ariel and other families of then-fifth-grade students:  there would be no boys in the school’s sixth-grade class the following year. For various unconnected reasons, several families of end-of-year fifth-graders were moving from New York City; seven of the departing students were boys, all the males in the class.

The KIPP-ing Point

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
On a business visit to Houston three years ago, Israeli real estate agent-turned-educator Eran Dubovi accepted a suggestion from Lee Wunsch, executive director of the city’s Jewish federation. Go see a certain public school in southwest Houston, Wunsch said.

CAJE Coming Back?

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) may be making a comeback. The education organization shuttered its doors in February and cancelled its annual conference this summer, but last week held a small, regional conference in Maryland where talked turned to what could be done to revive CAJE.

Social Entrepreneurship At JTS

Staff Writer
08/18/2009
Many universities encourage their students to perform community service, but for students at List College it comes with a twist. The school has begun offering the Fellowship in Jewish Social Entrepreneurship, which combines social justice internships with courses that put it into a Jewish perspective. The school is the undergraduate college of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rebecca Hammerman, assistant dean and director of the fellowship program, said the project was launched as a pilot in the spring.

Repeal The Blaine Amendment

The $8,500 in NY state aid per pupil attending charter schools should also be available to parents of religious school students.

01/16/2009
Special To The Jewish Week
Repealing or ignoring the last remaining vestige of bigotry contained in the New York State Constitution, the so-called “Blaine” amendment, could open the door to providing parents with children attending religious schools — Jewish, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Greek Orthodox — with the same approximate $8,500 annually per pupil that charter schools receive, all deducted from the budget of the local school district that the charter school pupils would otherwise attend.

What’s New At The Seminaries?

What’s New At The Seminaries?

01/16/2009
Staff Writer
Yeshiva University this year launched a new program, the Institute for University-School Partnership at YU’s Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration.

The Starbucks Rebbe

Rabbi Steven Burg reaches out to unaffiliated teens wherever they are — public schools or a certain coffee joint.

01/16/2009
Staff Writer
At Francis Lewis High School on Utopia Parkway in Flushing, Queens, the hallways ring with calls of “L’Chaims” and “Mazel Tov” from the jean-clad, largely non-Jewish teenagers watching as Rabbi Steven Burg, dressed in a suit and a yarmulke, ambles along with his rabbinic colleagues carrying pizza, donuts and Coke. Together the rabbis enter a classroom, bearing food and Jewish lessons for a meeting of the Jewish Student Union, a national project that hopes to bring a measure of Judaism to unaffiliated students in public schools.
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