Visions of Jewish Education

Visions of Jewish Education

Visions of Jewish Education

Visions of Jewish Education

Excerpt

In 1991, the Mandel Foundation launched a project to stimulate the philosophical consideration of Jewish existence in our time as reflected in alternative visions of Jewish education, its purposes and instrumentalities, the values it should serve, and the personal and social character it ought to foster. Visions of Jewish Education is an outcome of the project.

Jewish life is currently undergoing something of a renaissance, with renewed interest by Jews in Jewish culture, religion, literature, and education. But prevalent conceptions and practices of Jewish education are neither sufficiently reflective nor thoroughgoing enough to meet the challenge of new social and cultural circumstances both in Israel and in communities elsewhere. What is needed are new efforts to develop an education of the future that will fully value the riches of the Jewish past and grasp the need for creative interaction with the general culture of the present. It is this conviction that motivates both our project and our book.

With the collaboration of the Harvard Philosophy of Education Research Center, we began our work by inviting a group of scholars concerned with Jewish life to compose written responses to the fundamental question of what a Jewish education ought to consist in under contemporary circumstances. These scholars were then convened for a first meeting at Harvard in 1992 to present their several formulations; thereafter, they met repeatedly, both in Jerusalem and at Harvard, for critical discussions of their diverse views. The overall goal of these discussions was to initiate basic thinking about the prospects of contemporary Jewish life, with primary emphasis on the education required to sustain and enhance such life.

The scholars who participated in our project were Isadore Twersky, late Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy, Harvard University; Menachem Brinker, Professor of Philosophy and Hebrew Literature, Hebrew University; Moshe Greenberg, Professor of Bible, Emeritus, Hebrew University; Michael . . .

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