Joel Lurie Grishaver
I am just learning about the second round of magic bullets. What magic bullets? The one that are supposed to save Jewish Education that has been according to every major Jewish newspaper and magazine is in complete collapse for more than ten years. All of a sudden, the discussed solutions are becoming more realistic.
For a long time there were two dominant views on Jewish schooling. The first was “end the drop-off (Hebrew)—send them to Jewish camp instead.” The second was “end the drop-off (Hebrew School)–use technology to let the kids study at home.”
Anyone who knows the history of educational change knows that the system resists inertia. Change does happen but rarely does all the water go with the baby. Change is incremental. To understand how change works, you know that first you are confronted with the radical, then along comes the incremental. We are now at the point where interesting, practical change is now happening.
Idie Benjamin and Dale Sides Cooperman
In December, we wrote here (Seeing the Light: Hanukkah and Young Children) about being reflective in the way we teach and offering children authentic curricula that they are able to understand. We said, “…We want these young learners to know so much about each holiday, but in our desire to give children every opportunity and every bit of information, sometimes the train gets a little off track…”
A Pesah/Passover curriculum, unfortunately, is often one of these derailments.
Along the back shelves in the Art Studio at Oakland Hebrew Day School are fabrics — books of fabric samples, boxes of fabric remnants, fabric on rolls and brand new fabrics in packages. Yet, I do not sew in any meaningful fashion. I can hand stitch a button or a hem, blanket stitch a craft or run a straight line of stitches on a sewing machine but that is the extent of my stitchery skills. So, it is a great wonder that my students (K through 8) are well known for turning out many fine pieces of fabric art. We make quilts and collages, dolls and silk hoops, challah covers and wimplen (the plural of ‘wimple’).