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ATID Publishes "Teaching Toward Tomorrow Setting an Agenda for Modern Orthodox Education" A Symposium Edited by Yoel Finkelman

96 pages
ISBN: 965-7324-11-4

From the Introduction

You have to be on your toes to educate well. Things happen constantly that require instant reactions, and a single wrong decision can make all the difference between a well-run class and a disaster. The same is true of the bigger picture. Even before administrators and policy makers have responded to yesterday's developments, today's challenges sneak up. Very often teachers and educators spend their time reacting, responding to conditions that are thrust on them, rather than being proactive, planning in advance for the best possible educational outcomes.

As educators and teachers we do not have adequate opportunity or resources to reflect on the conditions under which we work and the options that are available to us. We are so busy doing and reacting that we don't have a chance to look backwards at what we have done and evaluate what has worked and what has not. Consequently, we have trouble looking forward into the future in anticipation of the challenges that we expect to find there. Of course, good education is driven by vision, by a sense of larger goals, and by an image of what makes for a successful graduate. But even vision-driven educational work feels, at times, like running on a treadmill. You are working hard and it is very tiring, but you don't appear to be making much progress.

A cornerstone of ATID's agenda is the attempt to create opportunities for Torah educators to reflect, not only to react. We want to make it easier for educators to plan, to know what to expect, to think things through in advance. In light of this, we have asked leading Orthodox educators to help clarify a future agenda for Orthodox education in North America. We challenged them to articulate research agendas and educational strategies that will serve our schools into the future.

Table of Contents


Shalom Berger, Tomorrow's Challenges
Jack Bieler, Assuring that Our Educational System is True to Modern Orthodoxy
Rivka Blau, What's Needed and What's Next in Our Yeshivot
Shalom Carmy, Wisdom or Prophecy?
Yoel Finkelman, A Good Close Look at Our Students
Jay Goldmintz, Back to Basics Download
Mark Gottlieb, Worldview: Recovering a Lost Vision
Susan M. Kardos, Crossing Borders
Jeffrey Kobrin, An Embarrassment of Riches
Gil S. Perl, Engaging the Past, Sustaining the Future
Yossi Prager, Aflluenza and Its Complications
Marvin Schick, Doing More With Less Download
Chaim I. Waxman, The "Good Old Days" Weren't So Good – What About Today? Download
Shira Weiss, Teaching for Relevance and Meaning


Esther Krauss, Moving Along or Moving Ahead? Download
Jon A. Levisohn, Jewish Education in Pursuit of Virtue
Jeffrey Saks, Mapping the Territory

Questions for Contributors

  1. There seems to be a shortage of serious data-based research on the condition of American Orthodox education. What should be on the agenda of researchers into that field? What are the most urgent things that we need to know about Orthodox students, faculty, schools, curricula, camps, families, or communities? How could we go about getting that information? How would that knowledge affect educational practice in differing settings?
  2. The American Orthodox community is currently discussing a series of challenges: at-risk and drop-out youth, substance abuse and gambling among Orthodox students, and a financial crunch on schools and parents seem to be of particular concern today. What are tomorrow's challenges? What difficulties are beginning to emerge, or are likely to emerge shortly, and how might we prepare for them in advance?
  3. The Jewish community is constantly founding new institutions and programs. What new programs, initiatives, curricula, institutions, or resources would you, as an educator, like to see the Orthodox community create or expand? What resources, financial and otherwise, would it take to create such initiatives?

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