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The Place Where I Belong
Analysis of the Ability of the Israeli Educational System of the Modern Orthodox Sector to Provide Support for Religious Olim

Michelle Berkowitz

This is an analysis of the ability of the Israeli Educational System of the modern Orthodox sector to provide support for religious Olim. This is the first half of a two-year project that will culminate in a research directory of schools. Anglo-Saxons making Aliyah face many important decisions when they arrive in Israel. One of the most difficult decisions is on the choice of schools for their children. This is particularly difficult because most Olim parents are unfamiliar with the schools and the school system in Israel. Teenagers of Olim that move to predominately Anglo-Saxon communities exhibit unique risk factors because of the compounding stresses of their pre-adolescent stage combined with stresses of acclimating to a totally new culture. Parents and educators must recognize signs of insecurity and low academic achievement before their children reach the stage of dropping out of school and life in general.

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Judaism and Democracy: An Educational Perspective (Hebrew)

Shlomit Demsky-Cohen

This study and its conclusions are presented here for the benefit of all teachers of Civics and related subjects concerned with teaching democratic values. In the first section, four different approaches regarding the relationship between Judaism and Democracy and their implications are discussed. The second section presents a analysis of interviews of Civics teachers in religious high schools in the Jerusalem area. They describe their classroom experience in teaching this subject.

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The Potential Effects of Educational Technology On the Jewish Learning Environment

Aharon Frazer

This project outlines possibilities for use of educational technology in the context of Jewish education. Particular attention is given to areas where the orientation of the educational environment can be shifted to a more student-centric model, and the potential advantages of such a model are explored. The internet, in particular, is identified as a technology which facilitates such an orientation. The author suggests strategies for implementation.

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K'gananim b'Gan Hashem
As Gardeners in the Garden of God:
Hasidic Thought and its Implications for Teacher-Student Relationships

Asher Friedman

This project explores the dynamics of teacher-student interactions through the prism of hasidic thought. Arguing that how we relate to our students has as much impact as what we teach them, the author turns to the psychologically rich works of hasidut for models of growth-oriented relationships and shows how these principles can be implemented and actualized by contemporary teachers, both inside and outside the classroom.

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Hakirah or Mehkar:
The Religious Implications of an Historical Approach to Limmudei Kodesh

Rachel Furst

Are scientific historical scholarship and traditional Torah study reconcilable? Does knowledge of history enhance appreciation of the overarching halakhic system or does it undermine it? Can the study of history contribute in any way to the religious endeavor? These questions have been debated since the founding of the "Science of Judaism" movement in nineteenth-century Germany but are of particular relevance to the contemporary Modern Orthodox community which defines Torat Emet as encompassing both historical, scientific truth and the truth of mesorah. This project will examine the religious implications of an approach to limmudei kodesh-primarily the study of Talmud and halakhah-that integrates academic scholarship with traditional Torah study and will evaluate the educational pros and cons of a curriculum built on such a synthesis.

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Towards an Integrated Curricullum:
Chulin Done On the Basis of Kodshim (Hebrew)

Moshe Genuth

This project, written in Hebrew, is an attempt to survey the theoretical underpinnings of the development of a truly integrated (Jewish and general studies) curriculum for religious high schools. This paper includes a detailed description of both the theoretical foundations and justifications for the curriculum under development, and the practical implementation of those ideas, complete with some examples from actual curriculum.

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Chicken Soup for the Shabbat Table
Improving Jewish Family Learning & Dynamics

Joel Guberman

"Chicken Soup for the Shabbat Table" is a compilation of useful guidelines and helpful hints to enhance the family experience at the Shabbat table. The focus includes interpersonal relationships and family interaction as well as not-to-be-missed educational opportunities. What goals are we trying to achieve at the Shabbat table? At what point can a child be excused from the table? How do we get the kids to participate? How does one deal with the toddler and the pre-teen while the baby is crying?

Through interviews and questionnaires, together with the use of literature on the subject and general common sense, the author hopes to present a resource that will help parents maximize the educational and bonding opportunities of the Shabbat table. The rich and varied experiences of family members can help in creating increased options and focused directions for the parents, and conductors of this most meaningful occasion.


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Talmud and the Quest for Personal Transformation

Meesh Hammer-Kossoy

This paper assumes that while Talmud study should impact the religious personality of the student spiritually, ethically, or halakhicly, this “transformative” aspect of learning is often not focused on by teachers or is lost on students. The primary goal of this paper is to propose and demonstrate three models for affecting this transformation. The author has taken three teachers as case studies: one teacher who emphasizes the content of the sugya and its relevance to the life of the student as the central vehicle for impacting the student, a second who emphasizes the genre of the Talmud, and a third who without emphasizing any particular method explicitly attempts to affect transformation by immersion in the tradition and an overall environment of holy service. The theoretical basis for these methods are investigated and the impact of these methods is traced (to the extent possible) by student interviews. It should be emphasized that these methods need not be applied in exclusion of each other, but are intended to serve as methods for integration into the classroom.


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Talmud, Relevance, and Classicism: On the Question of "The Relevance" of the Talmud for Contemporary Students (Hebrew)

Avital Hochstein

The underlying assumption of this study is that one problem in teaching Talmud today stems from many students’ claim of its "ack of relevance." In this regard, the author examines the possible benefit of looking at the Talmud as a classic text, a canonic text of Jewish culture. The paper looks into different aspects of this idea: First, it defines the characteristics of classic texts and compares them to those of the Talmud, based on a variety of writings in the field. Secondly, it examines the existence of the "relevance" problem and its basis, through an analysis of interviews with leading Talmud teachers and pupil questionnaires.

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Educating Toward Excellence in Midot in the Dati Leumi Girls’ High School System in Israel

Adina Luber

This project attempts to understand how Dati Leumi high schools for girls in Israel educate their students toward excellence in Midot. Recognizing that Midot education occurs within the larger picture of the educational system as a whole, the project explores the various aspects of the Dati Leumi educational system, focusing on their relevance to Midot education.

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Counseling Of Students On One-Year Programs In Israel: Models And Techniques

Ari Shames

In this research project the author surveys the current state of psychological counseling in overseas programs in Israel. Interviews were conducted in post high school programs for women and a general picture is presented based on these interviews. Recommendations are presented for the implementation of a three tiered system in dealing with personal counseling in such schools, and in addition suggestions are made for the basics of any systematic treatment of the issue in like environments. A call is made for systematic treatment of this neglected side of the year in Israel.

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The Yearly Cycle in the Eyes of Chazal (Hebrew)

Chaviva Speter

In accordance with the proposals of the authors previous ATID study, this Hebrew paper suggests building a collection of texts in Chazal that will go according to the year cycle. Teachers in both religious and non-religious Jewish schools that want to enhance their student’s knowledge of the world of Chazal and with the cycle of the Jewish year will benefit from the program herein laid out. This paper brings an example of one topic: repentance in the eyes of Chazal, accomplished through learning about Chazal’s treatment of biblical figures that have sinned. The program includes texts from Halakhah as well as Aggadah.

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Crisis and Response:
Post-High School Yeshiva Programs in Israel and the Matzav

Dodi F.Tobin

This project examines the impact of the “Al Aksa Intifada”, commonly known to Israelis as the matzav, upon the post-high school yeshiva experience in the academic year 2000-2001. Based upon anecdotal data obtained from administrators, students and parents, the author describes the impact of the matzav upon various aspects of the Israel experience, including parental concerns; student concerns; communication between administration and parents; student and parents satisfaction with how the yeshivot have responded to the matzav; and Zionism. The author makes suggestions to yeshiva programs about important measures which should be undertaken to respond to the matzav long-term.


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The Place of Yirat Shamayim in Moral Development:
The Pedagogical Approach of the Maharal of Prague

Yael Wieselberg

This project presents the pedagogic paradigm of the Maharal, suggesting an approach to Torah learning based upon a hierarchy of values; those of Chochmah (wisdom), yirah (awe), and anavah (humility). By examining the concepts behind these values, it becomes evident that the creation of a spiritual relationship with God is more essential than the academic accumulation of knowledge. Maharal’s commitment to dveykut leads him to promote learning in a shared, interactive environment, providing helpful pedagogical suggestions as to the building of a true relationship with God.

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