I am searching for a few good heroes, specifically Jewish heroes. This search has taken on new urgency recently, after Israel’s interception of the Gaza-bound boats unleashed a new flotilla of Israel bashing. The search is also driven by concern with growing rifts within the American Jewish community, a community no longer united in its view of Israel as always admirable in its public policy and conduct. Many communal leaders still long for the days of David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Abba Eban.
While some educators believe the country’s model
for special education is antiquated, parents don’t seem
to be clamoring for more mainstreaming.
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.
In Los Angeles, future rabbis, imams and
ministers will train together.
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.
Outside New York, growing numbers of day schools
are opting for the hands-on, self-directed approach.
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.
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.
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.
The Conservative movement’s Ramah camps debut
Daber, a program to step up summertime ivrit acquisition.
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.
With a $1 million infusion, and more pledges to come, a yeshiva that attracts a variety of families plans for the future.
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.
An interview with the heads of the new BJENY-SAJES
as they reframe a vision for the agency.
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.
Training Hebrew school leaders … Summer camp that stresses cuisine, fashion? … Hebrew U. researcher gets fishy.
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.