Tagged Jewish education

OP-ED Making the most of technology in Jewish education

An Israeli working with campers at the Union for Reform Judaism's 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy in New Jersey. (URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy)

(JTA) — You’ve seen the advertisements: A fit young woman pedals a stationary bicycle while an instructor on a video screen shouts encouragement. The company, Peloton, promises “fitness at your fingertips,” and both “live and on demand” spin classes and “world class instructors,” all from the comfort of your own… Read more »

JFSA inclusion program helps all students find their place

Laurie Dietz, left, coordinator of the Special Needs Inclusion Project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s Coalition for Jewish Education, reviews a visual schedule designed for a student at Congregation Or Chadah with Tianna Liebeskind and Seth Brown. (Courtesy Laurie Dietz)

On an afternoon in 2003, Brenda Landau witnessed an event that would change the way the Tucson Jewish community would provide religious education for students with special learning needs. Landau, currently a senior vice president at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, was serving as the director of education… Read more »

As school resumes, how to talk to children about the Gaza war

NEW YORK (JTA) — With the new school year nearly upon us, Jewish educational leaders are scrambling to prepare their teachers to discuss this summer’s Gaza War. The most pressing challenge is to design age-appropriate conversations: At which grade level might classroom discussions include potentially frightening topics, such as… Read more »

Committing to memory with author Nathan Englander

Nathan Englander (Juliana Sohn)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Author Nathan Englander recently received the 2012 Frank O’Conner International Short Story Award for his latest collection, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.” He spoke with JTA about the impact of his Jewish education, the challenges of translation and why he’s… Read more »

Mitch Dorson: consummate teacher and ‘all-around mensch’

Mitch Dorson

Mitch Dorson, 63, died unexpectedly on May 13, 2012. “His life was a story about a man standing for his principles,” says Rabbi Joseph Weizenbaum, who worked with Mr. Dorson at Temple Emanu-El. “He never backed off” of those principles teaching social studies, first at Catalina Foothills High School… Read more »

Put Russian-speaking Jews on the community’s radar

NEW YORK (JTA) — With the contemporary music world buzzing about Regina Spektor’s upcoming album more than a month before its release, I cannot help but think about the young musician’s rise in the context of Russian-speaking Jewry. Spektor, who came to the United States with her parents when… Read more »

Twenty-five years later, Shlock Rock is still rockin’

"Kosher Cake" is one of two new albums by Shlock Rock marking the group's 25th anniversary. (Shlock Rock)

STAMFORD, Conn. (JTA) — Before the Maccabeats created a sensation on YouTube with their Chanukah song, and before the scores of individuals recorded Jewish parodies on video, and before Jewish outreach organizations used popular music to connect with unaffiliated Jews, there was Lenny Solomon and Shlock Rock. For 25… Read more »

Jewish day schools putting Apple iPads to the test

Mollie Darmon, left, and Allie Lichterman, seniors at Frankel Jewish Academy in suburban Detroit, using their iPads in class. (Frankel Jewish Academy)

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (JTA) — Toward the end of his life, Apple’s visionary leader, Steve Jobs, was visited by another computer innovator, Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The conversation turned to the future of education. As related in Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of Jobs, both men agreed that computers had made surprisingly… Read more »

Scott Shay wants you to recharge your mitzvah — every 18 years

Scott Shay in his book on energizing American Jewry says his call for a cyclical 18-year Bar/Bat Mitzvah captured the most attention on his promotional tour. (Howard Roy Katz, Art Box Studio)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Remember that 2009 episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” when as part of a plot to coax Michael “Kramer” Richards to go along with a “Seinfeld” reunion, Larry David’s African-American housemate, Leon Black, pretends to be the Jewish accountant Danny Duberstein? To sell the cover story,… Read more »

Rebranding Tzedakah: From charity to sacred spending

(Sh’ma) — The third paragraph of birkat hamazon, the prayer after eating, presents an odd conflation of concerns. Opening with a petition for divine mercy toward Israel, its people, capital, temple and monarchy, the prayer veers into an anxious plea to escape material dependence on other mortals: “Do not… Read more »

Parents can help raise Jewish children even once they’re away at college

ST. LOUIS (JTA) — American Jews are known for the emphasis they place on academic success. Jewish professors populate America’s universities, and, respectively, Jewish doctors, lawyers and politicians help fill the nation’s hospitals, law firms and legislatures. At the core of this success are generations of American Jewish parents… Read more »

Op-Ed: Education is key in a changing U.S. Jews-Israel relationship

WALTHAM, Mass. (JTA) — The relationship between American and Israeli Jews is changing. For most of Israel’s history, the American Jewish community was larger, wealthier and more powerful than its “poor cousin” in the Middle East, but now the differences between the two communities have greatly narrowed. More Jews… Read more »