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The Strictly Orthodox Jewish Day School: Directions for the future. A synthesis of traditional Jewish values and modern secular research Oral Defense Binyomin.

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Presentation on theme: "The Strictly Orthodox Jewish Day School: Directions for the future. A synthesis of traditional Jewish values and modern secular research Oral Defense Binyomin."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Strictly Orthodox Jewish Day School: Directions for the future. A synthesis of traditional Jewish values and modern secular research Oral Defense Binyomin G. Segal August 5, 2004

2 Questions Are the day schools we have, the best possible Jewish education? How have changing conditions, in America generally and in the American Jewish community, affected both the schools we might have and the schools we might want?

3 Scope Yeshiva Ketana - Strictly Orthodox all-boys elementary day schools United States, 2004

4 Method - Synthesis Secular scholarship to describe the factual conditions - historical and current Jewish scholarship to describe an Orthodox Jewish philosophy and methodology of education Synthesis to create a school for the current community

5 Components of Jewish Education Limud HaTorah Chinuch Umanus è All of them share a need for a protected Jewish space!

6 How We Got Here Mandatory secular education Desire to avoid the secular environment of public schools and afford extra time for Jewish studies American pressure to conform Jewish desire to fit in è Day schools that used their limited time to match the public school’s academic core. è The need to match that curriculum forced an opening in the protected space of Jewish education.

7 Secular Education Torah Only Torah im Derech Eretz The need for control of the environment Judaism should remain the context for everything

8 The post-modern urban society Mores Family structures Level of education “responsibility and commitment” vs. “whimsy and indifference”

9 Strictly Orthodox Society in America Today Religious goods and services Social organizations Participation in public spheres

10 Diversity and Openness Exposure to decadence and materialism Opportunity to chart our own course

11 Modern Practice Experience Learning Curiosity & The Aesthetic Multiple Intelligences Cooperative Learning Language Immersion {Adler, LaBelle, Instructor Age}

12 The Ideal - Goals 1. Raise children who love their Jewish heritage and are committed to Jewish values and religious practice. 2. Raise children who love the process of learning, most especially who love the learning of Torah, and are committed to continue learning - as a religious experience - throughout their lives. 3. Raise children who are competent to live adult lives in the United States of the 21st century. They should be able to participate intelligently in the democratic process, and should have the skills needed to pursue employment or advanced vocational training.

13 Ideal - In practice Protected Space Different modes of learning Library Limud - Jewish Studies Chinuch - Integrated Studies Ummanus - Secular Skills

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15 Evaluation Program Evaluation Student Evaluation

16 Incremental Changes Make the secular holy Hebrew Immersion No recess Cooperative learning Bais Medrash Limud curriculum

17 Conclusion Now, when defection from Orthodoxy is not viewed as normal, but rather as tragic, educators must consider what they might do to prevent even a single tragedy. The secular world has developed educational methods which are designed to reach out to each individual student. A school that uses these methods, and does so in the context of a Jewish protected space, has the best possibility of raising each child in a way that will help him embrace his Jewish heritage.

18 The Strictly Orthodox Jewish Day School: Directions for the future. A synthesis of traditional Jewish values and modern secular research Thank you for your help and encouragement throughout this process.


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