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Date: 2024
Abstract: Aims and Objectives:
This article explores the challenges Jewish children face in educational programs teaching about Judaism and Jewish culture located in the United States and Europe. Students learn to decode Hebrew but not to read for comprehension, which conflicts with other types of literacy learning they encounter throughout their education in school and at home.
The study is based on long-term participant observation at two religious education programs, one in the United States and one in Luxembourg.
Data and Analysis:
A language socialization lens was applied to coded fieldnotes to bring findings into conversation with each other.
Following initial frustrations stemming from a mismatch between American and European schooled literacy expectations and Hebrew decoding, students came to understand Hebrew as a distinctive sacred language. This allowed them to reconceptualize decoding as a successful and meaningful form of literacy and to see themselves as competent Hebrew users and members of a broader Jewish community.
Existing studies primarily focus on sacred languages and literacies oriented around supporting connections with the divine. This study contributes to the existing body of work by illustrating religious literacy education aimed at cultivating communal and religious identification.
This study provides evidence that decoding of sacred texts without comprehension of lexico-semantic content can be a meaningful form of literacy that enables religious members to affirm and do community without explicit reference to divine relations. It argues for a distinctive form of bilingualism in which the sacred language and talk about it work together to create meaningful religious learning.
Author(s): Voignac, Joseph
Date: 2024
Author(s): Badder, Anastasia
Date: 2024
Abstract: In the lives of students in Luxembourg’s Liberal Jewish complementary school, flexibility and mobility are highly valued as key characteristics of modern living. Complementary school students feel they easily meet these criteria—they are multilingual, cosmopolitan, and their approach to Jewish life is flexible, and equally importantly, they look, dress, and comport themselves “like everyone else.” These factors are understood to facilitate multiple movements and belongings in the contemporary world. The students directly contrast their ways of being with those of more observant Jews whom they refer to as “religious”; the material, embodied, and visible nature of observant Jewish life is perceived to be an impediment to participation and success in the secular sphere. However, when Jewishness appears in these students’ secular school classrooms, it is most often represented by Orthodox-presenting men—often a man in a yarmulke. Further, these men and their yarmulkes are taken to represent all Jews, framed as a homogeneous group of religious adherents. For many complementary school students, these experiences can be jarring—they suddenly find themselves on the “wrong” side of the religious–secular divide and grouped together with those from whom they could not feel more distant. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and a material approach to religion, this article argues that the yarmulke comes to point to different levels and modes of observance and identities and enable different possible belongings in the secular public sphere as it travels across contexts that include different definitions of and attitudes toward religion and Jewishness.
Author(s): Miller, Helena
Date: 2023
Abstract: The initiatives that took place to support Israeli families temporarily in the UK
started within three days after 7th October.
• Key organisations in the Jewish Community came together to help: JAFI, UJIA,
• They were supported by other organisations in various ways, e.g. JVN, and by
many individuals.
• There was a huge gap between the large number of expressions of interest in
school places and eventual places taken up.
• Each Local Education Authority Admissions process was different from each other,
and LEAs waived usual procedures to be accommodating and speed up the
admissions processes.
• Almost all temporary Israeli families were able to visit their UK school prior to
accepting a place and starting school.
• By November, more than 100 children had been placed in schools, mostly in the
primary sector.
• Whilst each school dealt uniquely with the situation of having temporary families in
their schools, there were many commonalities, e.g. acquiring school uniform,
communication, pairing with other Hebrew speakers.
• Relating to the school system in the UK has been a steep learning curve for these
• PaJeS has been significantly involved in providing support, especially in
admissions advice, Hebrew, wellbeing, funding and resources.
• A concern at the beginning, which was that the regular school population would be
disadvantage by schools accepting these additional families, has not materialised.
• By the beginning of December 2023, although some families are still arriving, the
number of Israelis temporarily in UK schools has already begun to decrease.
• Some families who are leaving, want an option to return and want schools to “save”
their places for them, which challenges the schools.
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2023
Author(s): Wilson, Nissan
Date: 2022
Abstract: The indoctrination charge has been levelled at religious studies teachers who teach controversial propositions as fact (see for example Snook, 1972; Hand, 2004). On this view, indoctrination takes place when the process which brings children to believe controversial propositions bypasses their rational autonomy. Taking into account the above argument and the proposed responses, my study goes beyond the arena of normative philosophy and looks at teachers’ conceptions of their role, asking whether they experience tensions between their mission as religious studies teachers and the values of the Western, liberal polity in which they live. I focus on a unique subset of Orthodox Jewish schools, where the schools’ religious ethos appears to be at odds with many of the parent body who are not religiously observant, and I ask to what extent religious studies teachers take parental wishes into account in choosing what and how to teach their subject. Using grounded theory methods in a critical realist paradigm, field work takes the form of in-depth interviews with religious studies teachers in the above group of schools. Working from initial codes to higher levels of theoretical abstraction led to clear findings on teachers’ conceptions of their role and their response to the indoctrination charge. For the purposes of their role at least, religious studies teachers describe religion using the language of the market and getting pupils to “buy-into the product” rather than necessarily to believe its propositions as true. As a corollary to this, participants see autonomy as having to do with choice, rather than with rationality, suggesting that while scholars, in their critique of religious nurture view a rationalist conception of autonomy based on Kant as the dominant paradigm, in the real world (of my research field at least) a more existentialist Millian conception sets the terms of the discourse.
Author(s): Boyd, Jonathan
Date: 2023
Abstract: This factsheet looks into Jewish education in the UK and the rest of Europe, highlighting parents’ different motives when choosing a Jewish or non-Jewish school for their children. The paper draws data from three sources: previous JPR research on school registration numbers, a 2018 pan-European study sponsored by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), conducted by a joint JPR-Ipsos team, and JPR’s spring 2023 survey of Jews in the UK.

Some of the key findings in this factsheet:

The number of Jewish children attending Jewish schools has increased significantly over time and is expected to reach about 40,000 by the mid-2020s;
In the UK, the number of children attending Haredi schools outnumbers the number of Jewish children in mainstream Jewish schools by about three to two.
Parents in the UK, France and across Europe are most likely to point to a desire for their child to develop a strong Jewish identity as a motive for registering their children to a Jewish school;
Jewish identity is followed in most places by a desire for their children to have friends with similar values, with the exception of France, where concern about antisemitism in non-Jewish schools is a more common motive;
In the UK and France, the most common motive for parents to send their children to a non-Jewish school is actively preferring a non-Jewish (integrated) environment, cited by about two-thirds of all such parents in both countries;
Convenience also commonly features as a reason not to send children to a Jewish school, coming second on the list in the UK and France, and topping it elsewhere in Europe.
Academic standards and availability are also marked highly as reasons parents prefer a non-Jewish school for their children, particularly in the UK.
Date: 1994
Date: 2013
Abstract: In the past few decades, Poland has seen a growing number of attempts to reclaim its Jewish past through traditional forms such as historiographic revision, heritage preservation, and monument building. But a unique new mode of artistic, performative, often participatory “memory work” has been emerging alongside these conventional forms, growing in its prevalence and increasingly catching the public eye. This new genre of memorial intervention is characterized by its fast-moving, youthful, innovative forms and nontraditional venues and its socially appealing, dialogic, and digitally networked character as opposed to a prior generation of top-down, slow moving, ethnically segregated, mono-vocal styles. It also responds to the harsh historical realities brought to light by scholars of the Jewish-Polish past with a mandate for healing. This article maps the landscape of this new genre of commemoration projects, identifying their core features and investigating their anatomy via three case studies: Rafał Betlejewski’s I Miss You Jew!; Public Movement’s Spring in Warsaw; and Yael Bartana’s Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland. Analyzing their temporalities, scopes, modalities and ambiences, as well as the new visions for mutual identification and affiliation that they offer Poles and Jews, we approach these performances not as representations, but rather as embodied experiences that stage and invite participation in “repertoires” of cultural memory. Different from simple reenactments, this new approach may be thought of as a subjunctive politics of history—a “what if” proposition that plays with reimagining and recombining a range of Jewish and Polish memories, present-day realities, and future aspirations.
Date: 2021
Date: 2011
Abstract: In Bezug auf die christlich-jüdischen Beziehungen wurde eine neue Ära mit der Kon-zilserklärung Nostra aetate des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils eröffnet. Seither vertieft die katholische Kirche das Bewusstsein ihrer Verwurzelung im biblischen Judentum und entdeckt ihre bestehenden Bande: Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede mit dem heutigen und ununterbrochen lebendigen Judentum. Dies geschieht im Rahmen des christlich-jüdischen Dialogs, dessen Aktivität viele Früchte getragen hat. U.a. entstan-den zahlreiche kirchliche Dokumente und päpstliche Botschaften, die anlässlich ver-schiedener Treffen mit Juden ausgesprochen wurden, besonders zur Zeit Johannes Pauls II. Darüber hinaus engagierten sich für den Lernprozeß Christen Juden viele Wissen-schaftler und verschiedene Institutionen, denen dieses Thema bedeutend erschien. Die katholische Kirche betonte und forderte gleichzeitig dazu auf, dass das Thema Ju-dentum seinen angemessenen Platz im Religionsunterricht finden solle. Österreich er-reichte dieses Ziel, weil bezüglich des Judentums in den österreichischen Religionsun-terricht schon länger wissenschaftliche Forschungsergebnisse eingeflossen sind. Polen hat es jedoch noch nicht erreicht. Deswegen kann ein Vergleich des Religionsunterrich-tes in Österreich und in Polen ein fruchtbares Ergebnis bringen. Im ersten Kapitel wird die Entwicklung des christlich-jüdischen Dialogs auf der Ebene der Weltkirche, der polnischen und österreichischen Kirche beschrieben und gleichzei-tig gezeigt, was von kirchlicher Seite bisher in Bezug auf den Religionsunterricht in Hinsicht auf das Judentum unternommen worden ist. Dann, gestützt auf die Lehre Jo-hannes Pauls II., wird eine pastorale Reflexion bezüglich des Judentums im Religions-unterricht durchgeführt. Zwei Prioritäten werden erkennbar: das Kennenlernen und die Reinigung des Gedächtnisses. Die erste, das Kennenlernen der Verwurzelung der Kir-che im biblischen Judentum und des heutigen Judentums, ist mit dem Religionsunter-richt sehr eng verbunden. Die zweite, die Reinigung des Gedächtnisses, nimmt hinge-gen großen Einfluss auf die Denkweise und Prägung der Überzeugungen des Menschen, was sich auch im Religionsunterricht widerspiegelt. Sie hängt mit der Geschichte zu-sammen, die aus christlicher und jüdischer Sicht sehr oft unterschiedlich dargestellt wird. Deswegen behandelt diese Dissertation nur die erste Priorität, das Kennenlernen des Judentums, im österreichischen und polnischen Religionsunterricht. Der zweiten sollte eine andere Arbeit gewidmet werden, worin die Geschichte Polens vielleicht von einer christlich-jüdischen Kommission neu zu erarbeiten wäre. Im zweiten Kapitel befinden sich die Kategorien für die Analyse der Lehrbücher und Lehrpläne für den Religionsunterricht. Zuerst werden sie aus Peter Fiedlers Buch „Das Judentum im katholischen Religionsunterricht. Analysen, Perspektiven, Bewertungen― übernommen und dann zu den fünf Dimensionen – 1. Gemeinsames geistiges Erbe; 2. Jüdische Wurzeln; 3. Bestehende Unterschiede zwischen Christen und Juden; 4. Das lebendige Judentum und 5. Gemeinsame Aufgaben – zugeordnet. Danach, aufgrund der kirchlichen Dokumente und theologischen Bearbeitungen, werden sie alle beschrieben. Gleichzeitig muss betont werden, dass diese zugeordneten und beschriebenen Bewer-tungskategorien nicht nur einen Bezugspunkt für die Analyse der Religionsbücher, son-dern auch eine Grundlage des Unterrichts über das Judentum für ReligionslehrerInnen bilden. Das dritte Kapitel ist der Analyse der derzeit geltenden Lehrbücher (2 österreichischen Serien – 24 Bücher und 2 polnischen Serien – 24 Bücher) und Lehrpläne von der ersten Klasse Volksschule bis zur Reifeprüfung für den Religionsunterricht in Österreich und Polen gewidmet. Die Analyse besteht aus drei Phasen. In der ersten Phase wird eine quantitative Analyse durchgeführt. Dabei handelt es sich darum, dass alle Seiten der Religionsbücher jeder Serie, auf denen das Judentum vorkommt, gezählt und mit allen Seiten der Religionsbücher jeder entsprechenden Serie verglichen werden, um den Pro-zentsatz zu ermitteln. In der zweiten und der dritten Phase erfolgt die qualitative Analy-se. Zuerst werden alle Seiten, auf denen das Judentum betrachtet wird, in „explizit― und „implizit― eingeteilt. Dann werden sie als „zureichend― oder „unzureichend― bewertet. Jene letzte Unterscheidung betrifft nur die polnischen Religionsbücher. Das vierte Kapitel enthält Vorschläge für den polnischen Religionsunterricht, die zwei Gruppen zugeordnet werden. Die erste Gruppe betrifft jene Stellen, die als „unzurei-chend― erkannt werden. Diesen werden die notwendigen Informationen hinzugefügt, um in den aktuell geltenden Religionsbüchern verschiedene zwischen dem Christentum und Judentum bestehende Bande zu zeigen. Die zweite Gruppe besteht aus verschiedenen Themeneinheiten, die die Verwurzelung des Christentums im biblischen Judentum und das heutige Judentum ausführlich darstellen. Zuerst werden alle Themeneinheiten in Anknüpfung an den Tag des Judentums so vorgeschlagen, dass in der 12-jährigen Schulausbildung die gesamte Information zum Thema Judentum und Verwurzelung des Christentums im Judentum gegeben wird. Dann werden Themeneinheiten behandelt, die mit verschiedenen Anlässen wie z.B. die Erinnerung an den heiligen Paulus oder an die heilige Teresia Benedicta vom Kreuz sowie mit kirchlichen Festen verbunden sind.
Date: 2022
Abstract: Jewish education is at a critical juncture. The experience of Covid-19 has shaken and tested our schools, youth movements and our communal infrastructure. As a community, we have risen to the enormous challenges across the sector.

The question facing educational leaders is how do we ‘build back better’? In June 2021, LSJS and UJIA convened an on-line symposium for Jewish educational leaders, providing a collaborative space to consider that question and develop long-term strategic solutions. Headed by Joanne Greenaway (Chief Executive, LSJS) and Mandie Winston (Chief Executive, UJIA), a steering group from across the Jewish educational sector led this project (see
appendix one).

Drawing on current international research on post-pandemic recovery and opportunity, we shared ideas and emerging models of success, captured learning from our lived experiences and considered how to use them to drive change. We started a critical process which we have subsequently built on to set a new, bold agenda for Jewish education, which crucially, has brought together both the formal and informal education sectors working with up to 25 yearold Jewish young people.

We addressed the unique aspects of Jewish education, in which the interplay between home, school and community is so critical to success. We also needed to understand unique opportunities, like the potential role of our active youth movements and how best to harness it.

Our focus has been twofold. First, we have been considering what is the best Jewish educational response to the cost of Covid, with its psychological impact on our young people and learners. It has placed an enormous stress on teachers, informal educators and all who work with young people in our community. Meanwhile, we have also addressed the lost learning experiences, including two summers of limited engagement and no school Israel trips or Youth Movement Israel Tours.

Second, how do we create opportunity out of the crisis? How might we re-envision our educational organisations? How can we harness the opportunities afforded by new technology and what are its limitations? How have we been impacted by greater global connectedness? How have our young people’s attitudes to learning shifted and what does that mean for the way in which we teach and engage them? How do the informal and formal education sectors
complement or duplicate each other? Are we best supporting and valuing the teachers and educators we entrust with our children and what status do they have in our community?
Date: 2019
Date: 2018
Author(s): Badder, Anastasia
Date: 2021
Abstract: This dissertation is an ethnography of children and young people growing up Jewish in Luxembourg. It focuses on the students of a Talmud Torah class in a Liberal synagogue that, in recent years, has drawn increasing numbers of highly mobile, multilingual families from around the world. As these students learn how to be Jewish and carry on Jewish tradition, they simultaneously explore what it means to be modern and to be modern Jews. This process pushes them to confront a series of ambiguities and apparent paradoxes across the contexts of their everyday lives – in Talmud Torah, at home, and at school. Based on 31 months of fieldwork, this dissertation reveals the nuanced semiotic ideologies and competing visions of modernity that become visible through the lens of the students' Talmud Torah learning, including learning to read Hebrew, engaging with religious texts, and participating in ritual performance, and their school experiences. The students grapple with, navigate, and position themselves in relation to these different 'projects of modernity' as they work to make sense of and bring together the aims of Jewish continuity and liberal modernity and all that these entail. By exploring these processes, this dissertation aims to participate in the anthropological conversation about 'modernities' and 'the modern' as a project that is both embracing of the liberal, the secular, and inclusivity and can be powerfully normative, constraining, and exclusionary, and to encourage us as anthropologists and teachers to think about how we might leave open the possibility for nuance and alternative attachments, desires, goals, mobilities, and ways of being in the classroom and beyond.
Date: 2021
Abstract: The number of Jewish pupils enrolled in Jewish schools has been climbing consistently for several decades and has increased significantly since the mid-1990s. This rise, described in previous JPR Jewish schools bulletins, has taken place in both the ‘mainstream’ and the ‘strictly Orthodox’ sectors. However, JPR’s new schools bulletin reports that, while the number of registered pupils in 2021/21 shows an overall increase of 1,612 pupils on three years previously, the growth rate has moderated in recent years, nearly flattening within the mainstream sector.

“These new findings are already playing an important role in helping community leaders to plan the future of Jewish education in this country”, says Dr Jonathan Boyd, Executive Director of JPR. “The clear slowdown in growth in the mainstream sector, particularly at primary level, urgently needs to be understood to ensure that all Jewish children who wish to be educated within the Jewish school system can continue to be offered that opportunity.”

Some of the key findings in this report:

35,825 Jewish pupils were studying in 133 Jewish schools in the academic year 2020/21. This represents an increase of 1,612 pupils, or 4.7%, since 2017/18.
60% of Jewish pupils in Jewish schools are in strictly Orthodox schools; 40% are in non-strictly Orthodox or ‘mainstream’ Jewish schools, a slight shift from 58% to 42% three years previously.
Almost three-quarters of all Jewish pupils in Jewish schools are in schools in Greater London or South Hertfordshire (73.3%) – a drop from 74.6% in the 2017/18 academic year that is influenced by a shift towards Manchester (27% to 29%) and away from London (67% to 65%) in the strictly Orthodox sector.
The geographical distinction between London and elsewhere is most pronounced in the mainstream Jewish sector, where 86% attend schools in London or the surrounding area.
Overall, there has been growth in the numbers of both primary and secondary school pupils since 2017/18, but this conceals a fall in primary pupil numbers for the mainstream Jewish sector over the last two academic years.
Author(s): Voignac, Joseph
Date: 2021
Abstract: Dans la brochure informative qu’elle fait publier lors de son ouverture en 1935, l’école Maïmonide affirme vouloir faire de ses élèves des adultes « conscients de leurs doubles devoirs envers le judaïsme dont ils sont les héritiers, envers la France dont ils seront les citoyens dévoués ». Le premier lycée juif français s’est donc donné pour objectif de former une élite communautaire qui puisse mener une vie citoyenne et professionnelle épanouie en France tout en assurant la relève de la vie juive dans le pays. De fait, parmi les valeurs juives transmises en son sein, le sionisme a toujours tenu une place de premier plan. Comment expliquer qu’un établissement scolaire se donnant pour mission principale d’assurer la pérennité d’une vie juive en France accorde une telle importance au sionisme ? En analysant les différentes manières dont le sionisme a été interprété et mis en pratique dans le cadre de l’école Maïmonide, cet article propose de montrer comment, au fil des générations, l’établissement n’a cessé de concilier son attachement au sionisme avec la volonté d’œuvrer pour l’essor du judaïsme en France. Cette analyse permettra de revenir sur l’histoire de ce premier lycée juif français qui, bien qu’évoqué dans de nombreux travaux portant sur l’histoire de l’éducation juive en France, n’a jusqu’ici fait l’objet d’aucune une étude spécifique. Plusieurs historiens ont signalé l’absence d’archives conservées par le lycée Maïmonide pour expliquer cet angle mort historiographique. Pour remédier à ce manque, cet article s’appuiera sur des sources provenant de divers fonds d’archives institutionnels et privés, sur la presse communautaire et sur une cinquantaine d’entretiens, menés entre 2016 et 2020 en région parisienne et en Israël, avec d’anciens élèves et professeurs de l’établissement scolair…