Education


Educators Aim To Move Beyond ‘Mythic Israel’

By Nacha Cattan

Israel education in North America is in the dumps.That is the conclusion drawn by Israeli and American education experts interviewed in a new study on the subject: “Mapping Israel Education, An Overview of Trends and Issues in North America.”Israel study here is not its own “field,” because it sorely lacks focus and a body ofRead More


Images on Nightly News Pose Challenge

By Ross Schneiderman

Teaching about Israel was a major topic of conversation at a recent conference organized by the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education.The three-day meeting, held in late June at Hofstra University on Long Island, featured a number of sessions designed for educators who are grappling with different ways to present IsraelRead More


Cultural Exchange Helps Classes Broaden Their Borders

By Ross Schneiderman

Two Jewish day schools – in different countries, speaking different languages — will launch a cross-cultural exchange this fall that administrators hope will lead to a growing friendship between their two communities.In September, students at the Westchester-Fairfield Hebrew Academy in Greenwich, Conn., and the Jaim Weitzman School inRead More


Internet ‘Museum’ Connects Kids From Around the Globe

By Ethan Porter

The Internet has changed how people shop, communicate, date and play. Rabbi Miriam Ancis is hoping it can change how students learn.Ancis is the creator of Toldot, a Web site (www.toldot.org) that bills itself as “The Jewish Museum of the Next Generation.” She designed the site to enrich the typical Jewish education and to create a way forRead More


Program Trains Teachers To Use Students’ Strengths

By Max Gross

Rebecca Coen, an English teacher at Yavneh Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles, was going through her lesson one day when a hand went up.The seventh grader whose hand was raised asked Coen to slow down. “I’m having a real hard time with saliency determination,” the student explained.It’s not the kind of phrase that tumbles out of the mouths ofRead More


Day Schools Learn New Math During Economic Downturn

By Daniel Treiman

Throughout the prosperous 1990s, the Agnon School, a non-denominational Jewish day school in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, experienced steady growth in student enrollment.In the last few years, however, with the national economic downturn, the student population has fallen by more than a quarter — from a high of 410 students enrolled in itsRead More


Georgetown Eyeing a Judaics Center in Bid To Boost Image

By Daniel Treiman

In an effort that could help burnish its spotty image in the Jewish community, Georgetown University, a prestigious Jesuit institution with a prominent center for Arab studies, is moving toward establishing a “Center for the Study of Jewish Civilization.”“We have internally — and making no announcement about it whatsoever —Read More


Arabic Grows at Ivy League In Burst of Post-9/11 Interest

By Max Gross

When Rachel Smith began taking Arabic at Princeton University two years ago, she had no choice about which class to take: Only one was offered. Today there are three sections.Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, many more students at Ivy League colleges have begun studying Arabic. Like Smith, many of these students are Jewish.Smith plans to goRead More


A ‘Screen Test’ as Teacher To the Hollywood Crowd

By Malina Sarah Saval

God knows how I became a teacher. At 29, I’d spent most of my post-Cornell years working on a writing career. First came my stellar screenwriting stint, the highlights of which included one “Winnie the Pooh” special (I put Eeyore on Prozac), two shelved studio comedies and, I’m sorry to say, one of those tawdry nights on the townRead More


Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Bets on Education Start-up

By E.J. Kessler

aura Lauder has a thing for start-ups.In the 1990s, the now 42-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur staked her professional career on one of the Holy Grails of the digital boom — interactive cable television, a platform that allows two-way, multimedia communication between television and the Internet. The company she workedRead More





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  • "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?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
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