As enrollment declines in liberal Jewish schools, it is important to ask: is liberal Jewish education relevant to today’s students? In the 1920s, American Jewish educators revolutionized liberal Jewish education by adopting the American school model. Previously, Jewish education was a chaotic state of kheyders and Talmud Torahs with undefined curricula and rote learning. But today, many think it is time for a new approach. As the next generation of American Jews redefines 21st century Jewish life, scholars and educators worry that Jewish schools are failing to meet the needs of today’s students.
Some scholars, among them, Benjamin Jacobs, NYU, think it is time for a progressive curriculum. In contrast, Zvi Bekerman, Director of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education, encourages schools to consider community centered educational models. Which models are most effective for 21st century Jewish life? How do teachers and administrators adapt to the changing needs of today’s students? Join the discussion with five leading scholars to debate new visions, models and curricula for American Jewish education.
Moderated by Bethamie Horowitz, research assistant professor, New York University, speakers include:
- Zvi Bekerman, director of the Melton Centre for Jewish Education, School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Benjamin Jacobs, assistant professor of Social Studies, Education and Jewish Studies, New York University;
- Jonathan Krasner, associate professor of the American Jewish Experience, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
- Tali Zelkowicz, assistant professor of Education, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion
Presented by the Speakers' Lab, Posen Foundation and co-sponsored by The New School for Public Engagement, Jewish Cultural Studies Program, Tablet and the 14th Street Y.