Beyond Borders: Glimpsing the Underlying Purposes of Day School Education in the Midst of a Pandemic
Abstract: This paper examines data gathered from Jewish day school students in North America, Europe and Argentina about their experiences of remote schooling during the first 4 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data report on student access to technology, student satisfaction with the remote-learning pedagogies their schools employed, students’ feelings about what they gained from this experience, and how Judaic studies and general studies compared when delivered remotely. The paper provides an opportunity to probe cultural and structural differences between day school education in different cultural contexts and especially the differences between more communitarian and more individualistic school orientations.
Topics: Jewish Schools, Longitudinal Studies, Schools: Non-Jewish, Jewish Pupils, Family and Household, Main Topic: Other, Narrative
Abstract: In 2011 we started following a cohort of 1,000 Jewish 11-year-olds as they entered Jewish and non-Jewish secondary schools in Britain. We were interested in finding out about their Jewish behaviors, attitudes and identity, milestones, and significant events. What follows in this article is an analysis of six family stories, which show how we have been charting change over time in three ways—through themes that develop within a single family over time, themes that develop across the sample of six families over time, and themes that resonate with all six families at one moment in time.
Abstract: As a provider of knowledge, the parochial school has the dual function of presenting two streams of knowledge to the child. One set of knowledge emanates from society at large, while the other set comes from the ethnic religious community which operates the school. How these two system s are combined in the classroom highlights the relationship or lack of it between the ethnic community and its host society. In their studies of Orthodox Jewish schools Rubin (1972) and Bullivant (1978) found that combining Jewish and secular learning is inherently problematic. These two streams of learning are generally at odds which creates dissonance in the learning process. However in presenting their taxonomies of rationales for combining Jewish and secular studies, Levi (1983) and Solomon (1984) disagree. They hold that these two streams of learning can somehow be “harmonized” to produce a broader and more cohesive world view. Which opinion then is more correct? Which one best describes knowledge transmission in Orthodox Jewish day schools in Western countries?
Topics: Education: Adult Education, Jewish Education, Jewish Women, Main Topic: Education, Jewish Identity
Abstract: This articles explores how a group of women in the Former Soviet Union grapple with questions of Jewish identity and Jewish “authenticity” as they participate in adult Jewish learning program that employs methods of feminist pedagogy and transformative learning. The study reflects on areas of dissonance between the transformational learning process and the tenacity of the women's world assumptions that are shaped by background, history, and worldview. While the learning process seems to be prompting these women to seriously and critically reflect on and reframe their self-understanding as learners and as Jews, their limited content-knowledge combined with a tentative sense of personal authority about Jewish life seems to impede their ability to harmonize their learning with a clear sense of what constitutes authentic practice of Judaism.
Exploring Anti-Semitism in the Classroom: A Case Study Among Norwegian Adolescents from Minority Backgrounds
Topics: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: Education against, Attitudes to Jews, Interviews, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Schools: Non-Jewish
Abstract: This study explores high school students’ views of Jews in one minority-dominated school in Oslo, Norway. Employing a qualitative approach, semistructured interview guides and classroom-based discussions teased out attitudes toward Jews drawing on questions from a nationwide research conducted by The Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities (2012). The findings are analyzed through the conceptual prism of anti-social capital and the literature on anti-Semitism with a focus on Jean-Paul Sartre’s (1948) analysis. This study warns that failure to pay attention to the increasing fragmentation of the educational landscape in Norway along ethnico-religious lines will serve to undermine teachers’ efforts to combat anti-Semitism.
Topics: Main Topic: Education, Jewish Education, Educational Tours, Israel Attachment, Israel Tours, Youth, Teenagers, Israel Experience, Israel Education
Abstract: This article explores the impact of German Jewish youth educational travel in Israel on changing attitudes toward Israel. The travelers are engaged in direct interaction with the host country, directly experiencing the environments and interacting with members of the host society while touring places with symbolic meaning. The encounters with places that were perceived as meaningful encouraged the adolescent youth to emotionally identify with the values of those places and to redefine the role of Israel in the young person’s identity. Consequently, the travelers are expected to improve their attitudes toward Israel as the toured place.
Topics: Jewish Education, Main Topic: Education, United Synagogue, Synagogues, Education: Adult Education
Abstract: Though the development of Jewish schools in the United Kingdom has increased enormously in the past 50 years, the planning of adult Jewish education in the UK has been almost entirely ignored. This article explores the purpose and provision of adult education in three communities in the United Synagogue, the largest synagogal body in the UK. Synagogue-based adult education is apparently provided with little planning or measurement of outcomes. Community leaders and members take differing approaches to its aims and success measurement, with socialization being vital for participants, most of whom are in their senior years.
‘Marching at the Speed of the Slowest Man’: The Facilitation and Regulation of Student Autonomy in a Pluralist Jewish Day School
Abstract: Faith schools are often perceived as restricting students’ autonomy through inculcating a single religious ideology and compelling participation in collective worship. Based on interviews and focus groups with parents, students and senior staff, this article investigates how England’s one pluralist Jewish secondary school has, in contrast, attempted to accommodate various forms of Jewish practice and facilitate students’ agency to determine their Jewish identities as desired. It reveals that students enjoy opportunities to actively negotiate Judaism, but that their autonomy is not without limits, and issues inherent to pluralism exist in executing an ethos accommodative of diverse, personalized expressions of Jewishness.
Topics: Main Topic: Education, Jewish Education, Jewish Schools, Orthodox Judaism, Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Teaching
Abstract: UK Orthodox Jewish educators face a number of ethical dilemmas surrounding truth-telling in the classroom. While they must comply with government legislation and high standards of professional conduct, they may also wish their practice to be informed by halachic considerations. This theoretical study explores the potential tensions that may arise when allegiances to the above areas lead to conflicting courses of action, and attempts to plot a course of appropriate conduct that can satisfy all considerations. Direct distortion is identified as an inappropriate tool, whereas omission of content that will hinder students’ Orthodox development is considered preferable to unfiltered disclosure.
Topics: Main Topic: Education, Educational Tours, Jewish Heritage, Youth, Young Adults / Emerging Adulthood
Abstract: Over the past three decades, travel to Poland for youth and young adults has become increasingly popular, to the extent that it is even seen as a “rite of passage”1 for members of many Jewish communities. For these groups, the accompanying guides or educators are central to their educational experience. Based on a series of interviews with educational guides, this article sets out to understand the trips from the perspective of the guides. A deeper appreciation of the guiding experience—the guides’ goals and reflections—will enable a more holistic understanding of these trips.