Education


Holocaust Program for Teachers Resumes After Hiatus

By E.B. Solomont

After being suspended for three years, a summer study program for Holocaust educators resumed last month with a revised itinerary.The Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers Program, initiated by the Jewish Labor Committee in 1984, has been taking teachers to Shoah-related sites in Poland and Israel for two decades. But eachRead More


SAT Tutor Raises Scores by Singing a Silly Song

By Daniel B. Honigman

Renee Mazer is trying to help high school students get into good colleges — by teaching them silly songs and cheesy poems.Mazer is the creator of “Not Too Scary Vocabulary!: For the SAT and Other Standardized Tests and Success in Life,” a boxed set of CDs (or audio tapes) aimed at beefing up students’ semantic skills. Using playfulRead More


Day School Innovates Curriculum With Help From Corporate Donor

By Ariella Cohen

As Jewish day schools strive to attract a new generation of computer-savvy students and their very discriminating parents, private funding from secular sources may be the key to the future.This fall, South Area Solomon Schechter Day School, located in Stoughton, Mass., will launch an integrated math and science program with aRead More


Living With Asperger’s: Education Is a Struggle

By David Morris

College is a struggle no matter what your mental status is. For me, it was particularly challenging, because I have Asperger’s syndrome, which was diagnosed when I was 18.It’s a “hot” disorder in popular culture: Characters with this form of high-functioning autism have turned up in several recent novels, including the best-sellingRead More


Kids With Special Needs Find Increasing Opportunities

By Sarah Kricheff

Educational programs for students with special needs in Boston-area Jewish day schools got a significant financial boost this summer.In June, Combined Jewish Philanthropies announced a $2 million investment to enhance and expand the schools’ special education programs. The money comes from the Peerless Excellence Project, a CJP initiative fundedRead More


Pilot Program Focuses on Teacher Retention

By Mark I. Levenstein

The largest North American organization for Jewish educators is taking on the greatest challenge facing Jewish schools: employing and retaining quality teachers. The Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education recently released its third semiannual progress report on Project Kavod, a three-year pilot project designed to improve theRead More


Congregational Schools Seek New Vision

By Shoshana Olidort

Congregational Hebrew schools aren’t easy to love. Students are expected to give up their Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons — and, often, soccer practice, ballet rehearsal or any number of after-school activities — to memorize ancient history, learn basic Hebrew and study their prayers. Is it any wonder that, according to some, lessRead More


Fewer Orthodox Teaching in Public Schools

By Max Gross

‘As long as there are final exams, there will always be prayer in school!”So reads the store-bought sign that hangs behind Leonard Stahl, president of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Teachers, in the organization’s modest offices in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. But the situation facing Stahl isn’t a joke: The number of Orthodox JewsRead More


Teen Mags Put Hip Cover on Jewish Culture

By Nathaniel Popper

The first 15,000 glossy copies of JVibe magazine shipped out to Jewish schools across the country this month. From the cover, Evan Taubenfeld, the dirty-blonde guitarist for pop singer Avril Lavigne, peers out coolly at teenage Jewish readers.The teen magazine is the latest product from the mini-media empire known as JewishRead More


Judaic Studies Department Faces Cutbacks at Brandeis University

By Nathaniel Popper

Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., has been the site of a series of aggrieved faculty and student meetings in recent weeks, after the dean of arts and sciences proposed cutting faculty from a number of programs, including the signature Near Eastern and Judaic studies department.Dean Adam Jaffe proposed the cuts to make room forRead More





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  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
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