Jewish Educational Trends

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Within supplementary schools, there is also a trend to parallel public schools in emphasizing service learning. Many religious schools take on a special service project for the year and emphasize Judaism’s focus on tikkun olam (repairing the world) through hands-on learning.

Family education offers parents some of the learning that they may have missed during their own Hebrew school days. Many supplementary schools have programs in which parents participate in learning alongside their children during several special programs throughout the year. Some schools give “homework” that involves the whole family in Jewish learning and practice.

Adults without children, those whose children are grown, and other adults interested in a Jewish education for themselves are not excluded from the educational picture. Adult education—an emphasis on building a “community of learners”—is on the rise in synagogues across the denominations. From Jewish book clubs to Torah study “Lunch and Learns” at urban JCCs for professionals who can step out of the office for an hour or two of study, educators are finding creative ways to bring Jewish learning to their constituents. JCCs are also starting to attract unaffiliated Jews through the creation of sophisticated film and book festivals.

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