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Last update: January 18, 2017
Trends in Jewish Education Teacher Education In-Service Training Education & Administration Formal Education Informal Education Adult Education Technology & Computers Israel Education Learning Resources Conferences & Events

The latest papers and research studies published in the world's leading academic journals in the field of teacher education.
Trends in Jewish Education
Reinventing Religious School Tefillah
These are questions that I struggle with as an educator, a tefillah leader, and a Jew. As a participant, I hope to be moved by worship experiences. As a leader, I hope to make the experience meaningful. As an educator, I want students to have a positive Jewish experience that inspires them -- to lead, to learn and to live Jewishly. How can we make the time students spend in religious school tefillah meaningful and memorable, and how can it be used to develop relationships and build community? There are elements inherent in a service that do engage children. Children love to talk, to sing, to move, and to listen to stories. If we can frame the tefillah with these concepts, perhaps we can create a more engaging prayer experience. If we can infuse each element of the service with meaning, taking the time to explain and explore what we do and why we do it, we have the potential of making not only religious school tefillah more engaging, but also every service they attend for the rest of their lives.
Publication Year: Winter, 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 18, 2017
Technology & Computers
Pioneering Change: Online Learning Adoption in Day Schools
In the mid-1990s, a few dozen intrepid high school students enrolled in what were likely the first fully online high school courses. Fast forward twenty years later. It’s hard to think of students who take online courses as educational pioneers anymore. Taking an online course to fill a Biology, Math, or even Talmud credit seems run of the mill. After all, adults enroll in online courses all the time—to pass the DMV requirements, to learn how to use that new software for work, or to study Renaissance poetry in a MOOC. It’s only commonsensical that schools would harness this mode of teaching as well. In fact, over 2.2 million K-12 school students enroll in online courses annually. The vast majority of the students come from the public system, but hundreds of thousands of students from private and charter schools also enroll. Jewish day schools sign up their students as well, though on a smaller scale. While 4% of all American public school students take an online course, less than 1%t of Jewish day school students enroll in an online course for either General or Jewish Studies. Jewish day schools began experimenting with online learning less than a decade ago, and at this point, several thousand Jewish day school students participate in online learning courses every year. This number is steadily growing.
Publication Year: 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 18, 2017
Conferences & Events
MOFET 2017 Israeli Leadership Seminar for Teachers and Community Executives in the Jewish World
The MOFET International Leadership Seminar in Israel for Jewish educators and community leaders (July 3-12, 2017) will deal with issues and models of Jewish leadership throughout the history of the Jewish people, up to the present time, examining the participants' management and leadership styles and helping them promote community leadership in the roles they are currently performing or will perform in the future.
Publication Year: July 3-12, 2017     |    Updated in JTEC: January 16, 2017
Israel Education
Making a Homeland, Constructing a Diaspora: The Case of Taglit-Birthright Israel
The study of diaspora policies in political science, international relations, and political geography has moved away from conceiving diasporas as bounded entities to conceptualizing diasporas as a process to be made. One body of literature maps different strategies employed to bond diasporas to their country of origin, while another body of literature pays specific attention to diasporic identities and the ways such identities are reproduced and constructed abroad. This article seeks to bring these two literatures together by focusing on homeland tourism as a diasporization strategy, i.e. the construction, reproduction, and transmission of diasporic identity. Through the case of Taglit-Birthright – a free educational trip to Israel offered to young Jewish adults – the article identifies the specific mechanisms and micro-practices used in order to transform Israeli territory into a Jewish homeland, reproduce the narrative of dispersion, and demarcate group boundaries.
Publication Year: 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 17, 2017
Education & Administration
First Global Research and Treatment Center for Child Abuse Opens in Jerusalem
The first-ever global center combining research and treatment of child abuse opened yesterday at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Mount Scopus. The Haruv Children’s Campus brings together, in one location, a comprehensive array of services for abused and neglected children, including emergency treatment, therapeutic facilities and child advocacy assistance. It houses seven organizations working on all aspects of identifying, diagnosing and treating children, allowing for unprecedented levels of cooperation and coordination. It is also home to a world-class research center and training services for a wide range of professionals.
Publication Year: January 10, 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 18, 2017
In-Service Training
Applications Open: Senior Educators Cohort at M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education
M²: The Institute for Experiential Jewish Education has opened applications for the second cohort of its Senior Educators Cohort. M² develops and provides training and research to advance the field of experiential Jewish education and invest in the growth of its educators. The M² Senior Educators Cohort (SEC) is a selective international training program for experiential Jewish educators. Open to educators with at least five years of experience, SEC enables participants to articulate, refine and sharpen their practice by exposing them to theories and methods that serve as the foundations of experiential Jewish education.
Publication Year: 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 17, 2017
Learning Resources
Zomet Institute – Where Halacha and Technology Meet — Virtual Museum Tour
What does it mean to have a Jewish state? For one thing, when living in a non-Jewish society, we often rely on non-Jewish neighbors to help us navigate difficult areas of Jewish practice, such as running hospitals on Shabbat. In a predominantly Jewish society in which many public services are run by the state, alternative solutions must be developed in order to foster Shabbat observance in the public arena. In this virtual tour of the Zomet Institute’s “Experiential Visitor Center”, students go behind the scenes to understand how the Zomet Institute’s Rabbis and Engineers solve techno-halachic problems by developing innovative and ingenious devices that enable Israeli society to maintain Shabbat observance in a modern context.
Publication Year: 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 17, 2017
Teacher Education
The Inclusion Assistant: Who Is She Supposed to Be? An Exploratory Study
Following the almost worldwide implementation of policies giving all students – including those with special education needs – the right to learn within the general education system, there has been a sharp increase in the number of inclusion assistants (IA). IAs provide special-needs students one-to-one accompaniment, allowing them to function in the general education classroom and reducing the onus on the classroom teacher in such cases. Unfortunately, many, if not most, of IAs enter the system without suitable training or special qualifications and often neither they nor the teachers have a clear idea of how they should fulfill their role. This exploratory study used a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to identify and compare how 30 classroom teachers and IAs define the IA’s role. It also studied how eight IAs changed their perception of their roles after attending an IA training course and what the implications of such courses may be.
Publication Year: 2016    |    Updated in JTEC: January 17, 2017
Adult Education
Special in Uniform
In 2014, I left the army and joined Lt. Col Ariel Almog and, together with the Yad Layeled organization (and in partnership with JNF-USA), we founded the “Special in Uniform” program. The program integrates thousands of young people with disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and, in turn, into Israeli society. We see the inclusion of people with disabilities in the army as a way to help usher them into a self-sufficient life once they are discharged from the army. Our belief is that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential. Special in Uniform focuses on the unique talents of each individual participant to help each one find a job that is a perfect fit for the individual’s skills within the IDF. The attention is on the ability, not the disability, of each individual, encouraging independence and integration into society.
Publication Year: November 15, 2016    |    Updated in JTEC: November 23, 2016
Informal Education
Experiential Learning and Values Education at a School Youth Camp: Maintaining Jewish Culture and Heritage
In our post-modern, globalised world, there is a risk of unique cultural heritages being lost. This loss contributes to the detriment of civilization, because individuals need to be rooted in their own specific identity in order to actively participate in community life. This article discusses a longitudinal case study of the efforts being made by Australian Jewish schools to maintain Jewish heritage through annual experiential religious education camps, coordinated in a programme called Counterpoint. The researchers’ aim was to analyse how a school youth camp can serve as a site for socialisation and education into a cultural and religious heritage through experiential learning and informal education.
Publication Year: 2016    |    Updated in JTEC: January 5, 2017
Formal Education
Shalem College's Fourth Academic Class Continues “Tradition of Excellence”
Shalem College’s second president, Prof. Isaiah M. Gafni, welcomed 53 new students to campus the first week of November, 2016, urging them to “retain the extraordinary passion for learning” that brought them to the college throughout their next four years. Hailing from all parts of the country, and representing a diverse religious and ideological spectrum, Shalem’s over-subscribed Class of 2020 are united by their impressive record of service, commitment to learning, and academic accomplishment—traits that define the college’s first three pioneering classes as well, and “continue Shalem’s tradition of excellence,” in the words of Provost Dr. Daniel Polisar.
Publication Year: 2017    |    Updated in JTEC: January 16, 2017