Making a Case for Change

by NinaPrice
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies
Religious Studies

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Making a Case for Change

Making a Case for Change

Tikkun Olam Programs in ActionClick on these images to learn more about various models currently being implemented to change the landscape through Jewish education and social action.

EDUC 834 - Session 9

"The understanding is that both the community and the individual are transformed by the act of Jewish service-learning." (Walfish, p. 19)

Below you will find two videos. The first is an ELI talk in which Dr. Scott Goldberg discusses the difficulty and necessity of facilitating educational change. The second video features a Jewish service learning project initiated by a Hebrew College student, Shoshi Burton, and highlights how Jewish service learning can change both the students and the community for the better.

After you investigate these tikkun olam programs, you will research a local Jewish service-learning program (or one that may not be local but is of particular interest) and discuss its impact both on the Jewish and broader community. More info about this activity can be found on Schoology.

In Session 9, we will be exploring various positions that advocate the need for change in the Jewish educational landscape. Some of these arguments, such as those presented in the Lipman Kanfer paper, note the need for educational innovation in order to increase engagement. We will be reading that report over two weeks and delving into its numerous recommendations.The other perspective being explored focuses on the the potential for Jewish education to literally change the landscape through acts of tikkun olam and efforts to repair brokeness we find in the world around us. The field of Jewish service-learning, while relatively young, is making a significant impact on the landscape of Jewish education not only by promoting immersive engagement but also by redefining the parameters of desired outcomes of their programs. As noted in Walfish's article, "...JSL programs should be developed with both authentic service and participant transformation in mind because these two aspects are intertwined, as 'authentic service is necessary for any meaningful participant transformation' (I. Aisen, personal communication, 2011). Therefore programs should not be designed for the sole purpose of enhancing the Jewish identities of participants. And yet, the assumption is that people who engage in a high-quality and authentic service program will be challenged and profoundly shaped by the experience" (p. 26)Throughout Unit 3 of this course we will be exploring the question of how the landscape of Jewish education can be transformed. This week's focus on Jewish service-learning as a model for such change efforts is a great place to start this discussion and enter our final unit of learning.


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