JBuzz News August 22, 2014: Jewish school in Copenhagen vandalised

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Jewish school in Copenhagen vandalised

Source: AFP, 8-22-14

A Jewish school in Copenhagen had its windows smashed and anti-Jewish graffiti referring to the conflict in Gaza spray-painted on its walls, the school said on Friday….READ MORE

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JBuzz News July 4, 2013: AVI CHAI Foundation awards nearly $2 million to Conservative day schools

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Nearly $2 million awarded to Conservative day schools

Source: JTA, 7-4-13

The AVI CHAI Foundation awarded nearly $2 million to support the Conservative movement’s Solomon Schechter network of Jewish day schools….READ MORE

JBuzz Musings June 28, 2013: UTT Herzliah St. Laurent building finally sold

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UTT Herzliah St. Laurent building finally sold

By Bonnie K. Goodman

After nearly two years the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal (UTT) announced on June 20, 2013 by email to their alumni that they have sold the school building that housed the UTT Elementary School and Herzliah High School Beutal campus…READ MORE

JBuzz News June 13, 2013: JESNA: National Jewish education organization to shut its doors after 31 years

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National Jewish education organization to shut its doors after 31 years

Source: Jweekly.com, 6-13-13

The Jewish Education Service of North America will end its operations in July after 31 years. Established in 1982, JESNA has been downsizing for the past four years, in part due to declining allocations from the Jewish federation system….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 10, 2013: Chabad Jewish education center in Miami could be lost in foreclosure auction

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Chabad Jewish education center in Miami could be lost in foreclosure auction

Source: South Florida Business Journal, 5-10-13

The Lubavitch Education Center in Miami, where Jewish studies are taught from preschool through high school and rabbinical training, has been ordered to foreclosure auction….READ MORE

JBuzz News May 9, 2013: Mayanot Institute for Jewish Studies: Steer Towards the ‘On-Ramp’ to Jewish Education

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Steer Towards the ‘On-Ramp’ to Jewish Education

Students at Mayanot’s Women’s Program in class with Rabbi Mordechai Guth, right.

Students at Mayanot’s Women’s Program in class with Rabbi Mordechai Guth, right.

Nestled in the heart of Jerusalem, and long seen as an accessible starting point for young Jews looking to deepen their connections to their religion, the Mayanot Institute for Jewish Studies has had thousands pass through the doors of its campuses for young men and women since its founding more than a decade ago.

In response to requests from students and young adults who visit Israel as part of the 10-day Birthright Israel tours, Mayanot’s Jewish studies program will now offer an intensive crash course on “Judaism 101” for those with little or no prior Jewish education….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 8, 2013: Lichtigfeld School, Jewish school in Frankfurt, Germany looks to attract non-Jews

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Jewish school looks to attract non-Jews

Source: Ynetnews, 2-8-13

VIDEO – The Lichtigfeld School opened in Frankfurt in 1966. It was the first German Jewish school to reopen its doors after the Holocaust….READ MORE

JBuzz News November 15, 2012: New Zealand Jewish community calls for compulsory Holocaust studies

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Jewish community calls for compulsory Holocaust studies

Source: TVNZ, 11-15-12

The Holocaust Centre in Wellington is calling for the study of the World War II genocide of Europe’s Jews to be made compulsory in New Zealand secondary schools….READ MORE

JBuzz News July 19, 2012: Orthodox Union (OU) & Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) Create New Tuition Affordability Center for Jewish Day Schools

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OU, PEJE create new tuition affordability center

Source: JTA, 7-19-12

Two Jewish organizations have established a new center to collect and analyze tuition affordability programs for Jewish day schools.

The Jewish Day School Affordability Knowledge Center is part of a first-ever partnership between the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education and the Orthodox Union. The center will be devoted to researching, analyzing and circulating knowledge and practices about existing tuition affordability programs in order to help day schools figure out which programs are best suited for them….READ MORE

JBuzz News July 18, 2012: Golda Och Academy Adds Choice to Revamped Judaic Studies Department

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Golda Och adds choice to Judaic studies dept.

Day school revamps curriculum to reflect trend for flexibility

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Flora Yavelberg, Judaic studies chair at Golda Och Academy, said the day school’s new curriculum aims to increase the flexibility while maintaining rigorous text study.

A core curriculum, two Judaic studies courses per semester, a competency exam, and an independent senior project: It sounds like a college admissions pitch.

But for high school students at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, a beneficiary agency of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, it’s a brand-new program set to begin in the fall. In a total revamping of the day school’s Judaic studies curriculum, students will be able to take more electives in Tanach (Bible) and Jewish thought and tradition after taking core courses during their freshman year (see sidebar).

School administrators say the revised curriculum has been developed solely for GOA by faculty and administrators, but also with various outside influences….READ MORE

JBuzz Profiles May 16, 2012: Michail Kitsos: Gratz College Goes Greek

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Gratz Goes Greek

Source: The Jewish Exponent, 5-16-12
Michail Kitsos is the first student to travel all the way from Greece to take classes at Gratz College’s Melrose Park campus.

He’s also the first Greek Orthodox Christian to become valedictorian.

And the 32-year-old is the first graduate whom Gratz administrators immediately hired to create a brand new certificate program, in Jewish-Christian Studies.

Rabbinics scholar Michail Kitsos

On Sunday, the college will recognize Kitsos and 294 fellow graduates at commencement ceremonies. Halfway across the world, Kitsos’ 72-year-old mother will lean in to her computer to watch as her son receives his master’s degree in Jewish Studies with a specialization in rabbinics.

Unlike Kitsos, the vast majority — 252 to be exact — will receive their master’s degrees in education, a secular program started in the late ’90s primarily for existing school teachers. That, along with other new general market programs, has helped fund the Judaic initiatives the college was founded to serve in 1895.

The other 43 studied Jewish subjects: 18 earned master’s degrees; one a bachelor’s degree and others, certificates in topics such as Jewish Early Childhood Education, Holocaust Studies and Jewish Non-Profit Leadership, administrators said.

So how did a devout Christian from Greece end up among such a small, niche group of rabbinics students at a Jewish college in Philadelphia? Curiosity, patience and the Internet, according to Kitsos.

Ever since he first learned biblical Hebrew as part of his undergraduate course work in Christian Theology in Greece, “I felt an attraction to Judaism and to the texts,” said Kitsos….READ MORE

JBuzz News February 13, 2012: Jason Marantz: Manitoban appointed chief executive of the London School of Jewish Studies

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Manitoban to head Jewish school in London

Source: Winnipeg, Free Press, 2-13-12

Manitoban Jason Marantz hopes to bring Jewish adult education and teacher training programs to a new audience after being appointed chief executive of the London School of Jewish Studies Monday.

Marantz, 37, said he is excited about the new position.

“My aim is to firmly establish LSJS as the leading light in the provision of both teacher training and adult education in the UK Jewish community for future generations,” Marantz told The Jewish Post and News.

In his new role, Marantz will be responsible for budgeting and fundraising as well as management of the school.

Born in Winnipeg, Marantz completed his bachelor of arts at the University of Manitoba. In 1999, he moved to the UK to pursue a masters in literacy learning and literacy difficulties before becoming the head of the Wolfson Hillel Jewish Primary School in London.

Reuven Stanov, Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies: Conservative Judaism movement to establish first community in Ukraine

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Conservative Judaism movement to establish first community in Ukraine

Ukrainian-Reuven Stanov, 38, is accredited by the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem as part of its program of preparing Conservative rabbis as spiritual leaders.

Source: Haaretz, 2-5-12

Sunday morning, when Reuven Stanov was accredited as a rabbi, the Conservative movement moved one step closer to realizing a mission it describes as almost messianic: building the first Conservative Jewish community in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Ukrainian-born Stanov, 38, was accredited by the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem Sunday as part of its program of preparing Conservative rabbis as spiritual leaders.

conservative rabbi Ukrainian-born Stanov, 38, being accredited as a Conservative rabbi by the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.
Photo by: Avi Hayun

Stanov was recruited eight years ago when he worked in one of the movement’s summer camps in the Ukraine and brought to Israel to be trained as a rabbi. The plan was that he would eventually return to the Ukraine to help establish a Conservative Jewish presence there. At the end of this month he and his family will indeed be heading back to Kiev to set up the first Conservative movement center in the Ukraine, as well as the first Conservative synagogue, clubs for youth and adults, an ulpan for learning Hebrew and for strengthening Jewish identity and links to Israel.

Stanov is a Cinderella story of the Conservative world. He grew up completely ignorant of Israel and his only link to Judaism at home was the eating of matza during Passover. His first chance exposure to religious activity and Zionism occurred during university studies when he signed up for one of the youth clubs run by Jewish students from the Conservative movement, after being brought there by a friend. He rose through the ranks of the movement’s summer camps and was eventually recruited for rabbinical studies in Israel.

“I plan to create a community from people who studied at the (Conservative afternoon) schools in the Ukraine. We have a good foundation for a community in Kiev, and I hope we can eventually branch out to other cities,” says Stanov….READ MORE

JBuzz January 15, 2012: Brazil approves Jewish studies agreement with Israel

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Brazil approves Jewish studies agreement with Israel

Source: JTA, 1-15-12

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff approved an agreement to allow students, teachers and researchers in Brazil to teach and research the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and other Jewish-related subjects.
Under the agreement, Hebrew-language and Jewish themes such as the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia and intolerance will be part of curricula in some schools, universities and other educational institutions in Brazil.

As part of an inter-country exchange, Portuguese will be taught in academic circles in Israel. Several scholarships will support the exchange.

The agreement is the result of a longtime effort by Osias Wurman, Israel’s honorary consul in Rio and ex-president of the Rio de Janeiro State Jewish Federation.

“Teaching the Holocaust in Brazilian schools is key in a moment when revisionist waves grow, notably from the Iranian government, which try to wipe the memory for future generations,” Wurman told JTA. “We must shed light on the past in order to clear the future.”

The Brazilian-Israeli agreement was signed initially in 2008, approved by the Brazilian Congress in 2010, and eventually sanctioned by the presidency this week to aid in “developing and strengthening the friendship ties between both countries.”
Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, attended a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony less than one month after she started her term one year ago.

“The Holocaust is not and will never be just a historic moment. The duty of the memory should not be mistaken for passiveness of the ordinary remembrance,” she said at the time.
“Memory is the human weapon to prevent the repetition of the barbarism. We must not allow any kind of human rights violation in any country, and especially in Brazil. The Jewish tradition and dignity integrate the Brazilian nationality in a special way.”

Ari Y. Kelman: To chair concentration in education and Jewish studies at Stanford University

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Source: Stanford Daily News, 11-28-11

The School of Education appointed Ari Y. Kelman the inaugural Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies, a position and concentration funded by a $12 million gift from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the largest gift in the history of the School of Education.

Kelman was previously a professor in American studies at the University of California-Davis, where he was a leading scholar in contemporary Jewish life, with an emphasis on ethnic identity, media and American religious culture. Kelman will lead the new School of Education concentration in education and Jewish studies.

“Kelman’s appointment strengthens ongoing work at Stanford on the interactions of religion, ethnicity, identity and education and may well prefigure future growth in this area,” said Lee Shulman, Charles E. Ducommun professor emeritus of education, in a press release.

Kelman will design the new concentration and facilitate collaboration between the School of Education and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.

Kelman is the author of “Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio” and the editor of “Sacred Strategies” and “Is Diss a System?: a Milt Gross Comic Reader