H
EBREW
U
NION
C
OLLEGE
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J
EWISH
I
NSTITUTE OF
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ELIGION
2003-2004
Annual Report
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Page 7
eveloped by HUC-JIR’s National Department
of Distance Education and drawing upon the
expertise of an international team of scholars,
designers, educators, and technologists,
Mechinah:
Preparing Oneself
is being designed to offer
graduate and professional students entering HUC-
JIR and serious adult learners a structured
approach to deepening their Judaic knowledge.
This new online learning experience, which is in
the process of being field-tested, integrates
uniquely crafted core content with multiple
aspects of e-learning: interactivity, skill-building
through the use of audio and video, immediate
access to multiple layers of online reference
material, and a flexible learning environment that
recognizes the needs and styles of adult learners.
The two-semester online course, facilitated by an
instructor, allows students to access materials at
any time and anywhere in the world and to learn
at their own pace while being part of a larger
group of learners. The course is comprised of
Cycles and Rhythms of the Jewish Year and Jewish
Life Cycle,” interlaced with seven “Enduring
Understandings” – core principles of Judaism
based on the concepts of texts, dialogue, prayer,
halakhah
and
aggada
,
am v ’eretz
,
community, and
covenant.
Mechinah
was originally designed as a high level
Jewish Cultural Literacy” program for students
entering HUC-JIR’s professional graduate
programs, which grew out of a faculty-directed,
multi-year redesign of the Rabbinical Core
Curriculum. However, it is also being developed to
meet the needs of professionals serving Jewish
communal organizations and synagogues as well
as congregational educators who seek to
strengthen their understanding of the Jewish
values and teachings underlying their service to
their communities.
Mechinah
will offer a serious engagement with
Jewish study that has the potential to make a
profound and lasting change on participants by
enhancing the meaning they draw from Judaism
and enriching their sense of identity and
connection as Jews. It represents a contemporary
portal through which adult learners can enter into
an age-old dialogue with the Jewish texts,
scholarly writings, and cultural heritage that have
inspired Judaic learning for generations.
MECHINAH: Preparing Oneself
D
The Mechinah: Preparing Oneself website, currently being field-tested.