Despite its startup nation reputation, the Jewish state faces some academic hurdles. Education Minister Gideon Saar says progress is on the books.
Assistant Managing Editor
Gideon Saar was appointed Israel’s education minister in March, 2009. The Tel Aviv native, 45, received his bachelor’s and law degrees from Tel Aviv University and was elected to the Knesset as a member of Likud in 2003. Three years later, he was appointed deputy speaker.
Popular opinion in the Jewish community has it that the campus is a hotbed of anti-Semitism and widespread anti-Zionist activities. Many believe that the wellbeing of Jewish students is threatened and that, confronted with an orgy of hate, Jews have felt a compulsion to hide their Jewishness and cover up any outer symbols of identification.
At PELIE, the Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education, we receive a great many calls from people asking about best practices, effective models, new innovations, current trends, and investment advice in the field of complementary (part-time) Jewish. What is the best methodology? Best curriculum? How can we most effectively invest our time and money?
Last spring I walked into a sixth-grade classroom where the girls welcomed me with squeals of delight, excited to show me the dance routine they had created to the rap song “Take It Off.” The lyrics include:
“Now we’re looking like pimps in my gold Trans-Am
Got a water bottle full of whiskey in my handbag...
There’s a place downtown where the freaks all come around
It’s a hole in the wall, it’s a dirty free for all
‘Esau’s Blessing’ looks at biblical heroes through the lens of special needs.
It takes a sensitivity to both the words of Torah and the lives of its major characters to describe familiar figures like Isaac and Joseph, Moses and Samson, in current clinical terms, as people with disabilities and personality disorders. That’s what Ora Horn Prouser does in “Esau’s Blessing: How the Bible Embraces Those with Special Needs” (Ben Yehuda Press).
Programs here and in Houston have doctors and nurses considering the moral implications of their actions.
A Ghanaian medical student at Emory University in Atlanta, Pierre Ankomah had a Jewish roommate with whom he’d often discuss how their profession “seriously erred” during the years of the Holocaust, how doctors and nurses were complicit in mass murder.
They spent many hours “questioning why people were able to, en masse, buy into the hideous ideas that were perpetrated by the Nazis,” he says. “Why were there such few and muted voices of dissent?”
The G-dcast team looking to bring its playful Torah videos to a wider audience of students and teachers.
With its lengthy roster of rules concerning animal sacrifice and food, Parshat Shemini is not generally considered a crowd pleaser.
But the text from Leviticus is such a favorite among Sarah Zollman’s fifth graders at Carmel Academy in Greenwich, Conn., that one student, upon learning it was to be her bat mitzvah Torah portion “was so excited.”
Cornell partnership cements a reputation for high-tech research and development that’s been building for 100 years.
Jerusalem — When Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last month that the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, and Cornell University had won a bid to create a state-of-the-art technological campus on Roosevelt Island, it confirmed what Israelis already know: that the Technion, with its reputation for innovation and Nobel Prize-winning scientists, is as respected abroad as it is in Israel.