by Rabbi Uri C. Cohen
Senior Fellow, ATID

[Version 1 - November 2002]

We have carefully selected the following reading material as essential background reading on integration, which should help Jewish educators and schools on both theoretical and practical levels. This literature is valuable in showing the underpinnings of integration, both in general and in Jewish education. Interestingly, the cacophony of voices represented herein indicates that there is no consensus on either the goals or methods of integration (although Zeldin, below, recommends a shift from integration to interaction, it remains to be seen whether his call will be heeded.) This leaves us with the task of developing our own "manifesto" for integration as we would like to see it implanted in practice.

Indeed, the hard work of integration takes place not on paper but in the classrooms and hallways of actual schools. Nevertheless, each school may find it helpful to look elsewhere for models of excellence and of failure - both of which are represented in the following reading material - to use as a "lens" into its own planning and practice.

If you find this material useful, we at ATID would be happy to hear from you. If there are any other resources we can provide, feel free to contact us at

Annotated Bibliography of Readings on Integration

D. N. Perkins and Gavriel Salomon, "Teaching for Transfer," Educational Leadership 46:1 (September 1988).
Available at:
Integration is based on the premise of transfer - applying learning from one area to another. This article addresses why transfer is important; why transfer rarely results from the standard "Little Bo Peep" approach ("Let them alone and they'll come home," i.e., provide the stimuli and students will integrate them on their own); the "low road" and "high road" types of transfer; and how to teach for transfer using "hugging" and "bridging." Perkins and Salomon also address the problem of local knowledge (that each discipline has unique characteristics) and present three reasons why transfer is still possible.

"Ten Tools for Teaching for Transfer"
Available at:
This helpful chart of ten techniques is a practical application of Perkins and Salomon.

David Eliach, in "The Jewish Day School: A Symposium," Tradition 13:1 (Summer 1972), pp. 100-101
The alternative to integration is compartmentalization. The long-time principal of the Yeshiva of Flatbush (New York) complains that day schools, by teaching Jewish and general studies with their incompatible assumptions, "create a split personality within a compartmentalized mind." Although this is a description without a prescription, and is thirty years old, unfortunately Rabbi Eliach's J'accuse still holds true for most Jewish schools.

Jack Bieler, "Integration of Jewish and General Studies in the Modern Orthodox Day School," Jewish Education 54:4 (1986), pp. 15-26.
Available at:
What's wrong with compartmentalization, anyway? Rabbi Bieler, a prominent Modern Orthodox educator, focuses on how compartmentalization in day schools leads to the devaluation of Jewish studies. He then presents three theoretical constructs for integration based on Modern Orthodox thinkers, along with the factors that would make each of them difficult to translate into curriculum.

Bennett Ira Solomon, "A Critical Review of the Term 'Integration' in the Literature on the Jewish Day School in America," Jewish Education, Winter 1978, pp. 4-17.
In this often-cited article, the late Bennett Solomon demonstrates how "integration" has been merely a slogan in day schools, neither defined nor implemented. He details several different possibilities of what is to be integrated, as well as the type of integration; all have been equated and thus made meaningless. Toward the end, Solomon presents the problem of local knowledge. Even though the article is twenty-five years old, it is the starting point of much of the subsequent literature.

Zalman F. Ury, "Integration Does Not Mean Melting Pot," Ibid., pp. 25-27.
Ury objects to Solomon's assumption that integration with the outside culture is a desideratum. He suggests the term "interrelationships" (between a day school's two departments) instead of integration. (Cf. "interaction" in Zeldin, below.)

Benjamin Brickman, "Integration and Interrelations in the Program of the Day School," Ibid., pp. 29-31.
This is an outline of examples of interrelationship and of integration in several areas: curriculum units, school projects, and within Jewish studies.

Joseph H. Lookstein, "True Integration," Ibid., pp. 37-38.
The founder of the Ramaz School (New York) makes two declarations. Integration of subject matter is virtually impossible. Yet integration is still possible within a given learner. Rabbi Lookstein makes five suggestions how to achieve the latter.

Barry Holtz, "Towards an Integrated Curriculum for the Jewish School," Religious Education 75:5 (Sept.-Oct. 1980), pp. 546-557.

Bennett Ira Solomon, "Curricular Integration in the Jewish All-Day School in the United States," Studies in Jewish Education 2 (1984), pp. 150-174.
Here Solomon presents a theoretical exposition of how integration can work despite the problem of local knowledge. Based largely on Scheffler, he lists several skills and dispositions which can apply in every subject.

Michael Zeldin, "Integration and Interaction in the Jewish Day School," in Robert E. Tornberg, ed. The Jewish Educational Leader's Handbook (Denver: A.R.E., 1998), pp. 579-590.
This is the single most comprehensive article on day school integration. Zeldin first summarizes types of integration (from Solomon's first article) and offers nine justifications of integration. He describes three alternative ways of organizing the curriculum for integration. Then he (anticipated by Ury, above) questions whether the melting-pot motivations for integration described by Solomon are still relevant. Zeldin prefers the more realistic "interaction" to integration. He compares and contrasts the two, and outlines how a school leader can develop a strategy for interaction, from four perspectives. Zeldin concludes with a chart comparing compartmentalization, coordination, integration, and interaction.

"Toward an Integrated Curriculum"
Available at:
Based on the writing of Robin Fogarty, this page gives descriptions and examples of 10 types of integration for curriculum. The first three are integration within a single discipline, the next five are across several disciplines, and the last two types are integration within the learner.

Alex Pomson, "Knowledge that Doesn't Just Sit There: Considering a Reconception of the Curriculum Integration of Jewish and General Studies," Religious Education 96:4 (2001).
Pomson starts by explaining why integration fails; he offers reasons that relate to all four "Commonplaces" (subject, teacher, student, and milieu). The synthesis model of integration was too ambitious. Instead, we should view integration not as an either/or, but as a continuum of possibilities - namely, Fogarty's ten types. Pomson presents specific examples of how some of these types of integration have been applied (types 3, 5, 6 and 7). In his conclusion, he suggests three factors that the successful cases had in common: students and teachers as co-learners, working towards a culminating event, and realistic demands of teachers. (Although Pomson focuses on the King Solomon High School, the ten views of integration are not limited to any specific type of school.)

Carol K. Ingall and Mitchel Malkus, "Negotiating the Borderlands: Implementing an Integrated Curricular Unit in a Jewish Day High School," Journal of Jewish Education 67:1-2 (2001), pp. 36-45.
This is a report of one attempt at a curricular unit to foster integration in a non-Orthodox Jewish high school. Though it was well-planned, it became a model of failure. One of the obstacles the unit confronted is especially noteworthy. While the teachers viewed integration as an ideal, "bridging the borders" or "negotiating the borderlands" of different subjects, they discovered that the students resisted these efforts and preferred the safer, familiar dual curriculum. The authors present a gloomy reality but maintain hope.

Of special interest to integration of Jewish and general/world history, see:
David Bernstein, "Teaching Jewish History," Jewish Education (Winter 1986).

David Bernstein, "Two Approaches to the Teaching of Jewish History in Orthodox Yeshiva High Schools," Ph.D. Dissertation (New York University, School of Education, 1986).

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