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"And you should teach them to your children and speak of them when you sit in your house":
Parents and Their Young Child meeting on Subject from Parasha (Hebrew)

Orit Avneri

This project is designed to provide a program of weekly learning sessions between parents and their preschool children, ages 4 – 5. The content of these sessions is based on the weekly parasha. The program attempts to present the Biblical text according to its plain meaning (Pshat). In each weekly portion, a topic has been selected which focuses on a particular value in order to teach and help the child internalize these values through torah study. The unspoken, but ever present message in this approach is that the torah constitutes our entire world as well as everything surrounding it.

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The Halacha: Understanding and Identification
Religious Youth’s intellectual and emotional attitudes to the Halacha (Hebrew)

Chemy Avnery

The observance of mitzvot is an essential element in Jewish religious identity. The Halacha establishes the content of the mitzvot and associated normative behaviors. In the first part of this project, the author investigates the attitudes of religious young people to the Halacha on two levels. The first level is the intellectual-conceptual: how do religious young people understand the concept ‘Halacha’? The second level is the emotional-dispositional: How do young people feel about the Halacha in general or about halachic particulars. Here the focus is primarily on the negative reactions that young people commonly experience in identifying with the halachic normative system.

In the second part of the project, the author focuses on the multiple meanings of the term ‘Halacha’ and the diverse ways in which it is used. This analysis has an educational goal – to enable teachers to engage with their student’s alienation from the Halacha. The meanings of ‘Halacha’ vary greatly and in some cases even contradict one another, such that difficulties that arise from one meaning may be irrelevant when the Halacha is considered under a different meaning.

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The Place Where I Belong: Part 2
Choosing A High School For The Anglo-Saxon Israeli Teen

Michelle Berkowitz

In recent years, parents and school administrators have started paying closer attention to teen issues, and well they should. The modern orthodox community in Israel has become more aware of growing problems among its teens, and especially among those teens with the compounded pressures brought upon them by Aliya. A great number of adolescents are failing out of high schools and/or being expelled for failing to meet school standards and recent studies have identified similar problems in the Israeli Dati Leumi sector, as well. Teens are searching for schools that will support them academically and emotionally and they turn for help towards friends, parents, parents’ friends, and/or someone they trust in their school environment.

While friends may not be adequately equipped to help, parents and school administrators must be aware of relevant issues and provide teens with access to effective intervention programs. Parents and the school body must work together to stop youngsters from ending up on the streets, experimenting with drugs and other dangerous substances. Some "high risk" students may require creative or alternative ways to complete their academic degree. Parents must reevaluate and formulate their expectations to enable choosing the correct program for their child. They must consider such issues as individual needs, academic ability, and social skills within the context of their own worldview. Parents must invite their children to become part of the process of selecting the appropriate educational environment.

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Reflections on 'Datlashim' (Formerly Religious Youth) (Hebrew)

Yafit Clymer

In this paper, the author surveys the phenomenon that is taking place in theReligious Zionist community of young people leaving the ways of Torah and shmirat hamitsvot. There are no exact statistics about how many young people are leaving the Orthodoxy, but the estimates range from fifteen to twenty percent per year of the students in the religious high schools, the yeshivot tichoniyot, both boys and girls. When seeking to identify the traits of those who choose this path away from observance, at first the differences between the individuals seem to outnumber the commonalities. It is possible to categorize the reasons according to theological, psychological, social, philosophical, educational and historical factors.

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En-gendered Identities:
Accounting for Gender in Religious Educational Role Modeling

Rachel Furst

In the field of general education, research suggests that female teachers are often the most effective mentors for their female students. How does this phenomenon translate to religious education in a community that promotes distinct gender roles in ritual and spiritual life? Would the ideal girls’ high school employ an exclusively female limmudei kodesh faculty? In order to explore this question, it is necessary to define the function of role modeling in education. Of what relevance is a teacher’s character, worldview, lifestyle, gender, etc. to her effectiveness as an educator? This question is sharpened in the realm of religious education. Assuming that we expect religious studies teachers to impart religious values in addition to (and perhaps unrelated to) the material they were hired to teach, how, in practice, do we anticipate that they will fulfill this mission? Most importantly, what part do role models play in adolescents’ construction of religious identity? This project explores the theoretical underpinnings of these and related issues and presents a case study of the Pelech School in Jerusalem for purposes of analysis.

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Hanokh Lanaar Al Pi Darko?
Educating Children With Learning Disabilities 
In the Israeli Mamlakhti Dati School System

Michal Glatt

This project examines the special education system in the Israeli Mamlakhti Dati school system, as it relates to students with learning disabilities, using Beit Shemesh as a test case. The author reviews the needs of the learning disabled population and contrasts this with services available in Beit Shemesh. Based upon anecdotal data obtained from principals, teachers and parents the author critiques the system and offers recommendations to better serve this population.

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Learning To See: The Relevance of Cultural Studies, and the Jewish Educational Context

Naftali D. Goldberg

Knowledge, from a Jewish theological point of view, may be deemed a neutral entity, inasmuch as it may be used for positive or negative ends. Consequently, it may remain ‘irrelevant’ to the weltanschauung of the religious Jew. The study of a spectacular trompe l’oeil effect of a detail in a Vermeer painting, or the minutely rendered individual hairs of a dog in the corner of a Van Eyck portrait, may impress the viewer as he strolls lazily down the hall of an art gallery; but is such study of any significance to our lives as religious Jews? This project seeks to explore whether or not the study of art and its cultural contexts, is meaningful, irrelevant, or harmful, within the framework of the Jewish educational enterprise. It has been argued that art, drama, and literature, are fundamentally ‘foreign’ to the outlook of the religious Jew, particularly in post-Temple times. Art presents a danger to the orthodox Jew, by freeing his creative impulse to venture unleashed, in all directions. Renaissance art, is the ‘offspring of paganism’; idolatrous and erotic imagery from the primary corpus of Western European art, from the medieval period to the modern era. This pessimistic approach is in stark contrast to that of R. Kook’s words relating to Shir HaShirim, who while he may have agreed with aspects of this argument, was nonetheless in favour of encouraging artistic production. Whereas he concurs that certain aspects of the human psyche should be repressed and covered up, and certainly not celebrated through art, he nonetheless indicates that every ‘positive’ human impulse is enriched by artistic expression. Society benefits by being able to share the artistic creations of painters, writers, and poets, who contribute to the elevation of the human spirit.

To see the figures for this document visit the figures page online.

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Using Tanakh as a tool for creating conflict resolution curricula for schools

Tehilla Goldberg

As the title of this paper, Sichat Shalom, suggests, this project is about refining human discourse through acquiring effective conflict resolution skills. This project highlights a few passages from Tanakh, as well as one rabbinic source, and then attempts to interpret them from the vantage point of conflict resolution. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the possibility of developing a comprehensive conflict resolution curricula that stems from Torah sources.

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

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,stories and anecdotes, 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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The Use of Experiential Workshops to Enhance a School-Wide Torah Curriculum:
The Parent Participation Factor in Achieving Integrative Success

Dena Lehrman, OTR
Steven Esses

The goal of the project was to introduce into the framework of an existing educational curriculum, interactive and multi-sensory workshops related to the subject material being studied by the students. We believed that due to the particular philosophy of the school chosen, the workshops would help to strengthen the implementation of said philosophy. In addition, by drawing on the parent body and the community to help design and run the workshops, the success of the project would have influence beyond the four walls of the classroom.

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The Principal of the Israeli Religious High School for Girls: Vision and Role(Hebrew)

Adina Luber

In this project, the significance of educational vision in the role of the high school principal is explored. Particular attention is given to the challenges facing principals of religious girls’ high schools. The visions of four principals are presented and compared. In the course of this presentation, it is suggested that a principal’s awareness of his or her role as a visionary and not a mere administrator can provide direction and purpose in shaping a school.

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Psychotherapy and Judaism: Conflicts and Solutions (Hebrew)

Baila Sosevsky

The author attempts to explore the conflicts arising from the contradictions and tensions between psychology and Judaism. The mutual interests of both disciplines create dilemmas, which Orthodox Jewish therapists must resolve within their practice. Through written documentations and interviews with professionals in the field the author describes the various conflicts both practical /Halakhic and theoretical/ philosophical which they encounter in their work. A description and classification of their various resolutions is described and briefly analyzed.

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"EMET V’EMUNA"- Bible criticism as a Challenge to Faith
a Teacher’s and Learner’s Guide

Moshe (Kinley) Tur-Paz

In this project, Moshe Tur-Paz, guided by Rabbi Zvi Grumet, confronts the difficult problem of the existence of a critical system of Bible research. He argues that this method is not sufficiently well-known, and it is erroneously conceived as one complete system (first chapter). After having examined the various parts of Biblical criticism, he describes the historical roots of the method of the inter-Jewish texts (second chapter). In this way, Tur-Paz wishes to present a basis for the better understanding of Bible criticism and thus to pave the way for the presentation of ideological models for the theological confrontation with Bible criticism (third chapter).

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