From left to right: Jaclyn Fromer, Deana Sussman, Joshua Knobel, and Lisa Berney
Dr. Tali Zelkowicz, Assistant Professor of Education and Professor Sara S. Lee Chair for an Emerging Scholar in Jewish Education, teaches Sociology of Jewish Education at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at HUC-JIR's Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles. She writes:
True agents of change use their passion, but are also able to go beyond. This is why I have students begin by clarifying their passionate “soap boxes” at the opening of the Sociology of Jewish Education course I teach for graduate students in Jewish education at the LA campus. That assignment is a 1-page “Cyber Soapbox,” in which students write with abandon, and express, unfettered by facts or multiple perspectives, their deepest, truest feelings about any one contested arena in Jewish education. For example, students share impassioned tirades about what is wrong with “Bar Mitzvah factories,” “why Hebrew school fails to teach any Hebrew,” or “how Israel education is actually mis-education." By the end of the semester, however, the students have used social scientific tools and research to produce an article that combines their passion, along with fresh, bold alternative visions that are grounded in scholarship and empirical reality, not just their own experience or “kishkeh data.”
What follows is a link to the following samples of this year’s articles:
The authors have provided their contact information, and invite your feedback and conversation. Enjoy!
Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu