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MIFGASHIM  March 2003

MIFGASHIM March 2003

Subject:

MIFGASHIM

From:

Solly Kaplinski <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

MIFGASHIM LIST <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Mar 2003 22:30:30 +0200

Content-Type:

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MIFGASHIM

March 23 2003
19 Adar Bet, Volume 2:29
Moderator: Solly Kaplinski
The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education
Bar Ilan University

-----------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS

1. Resource of the Week.
Esther Feldman: Director, Information and Technology Services
The Lookstein Center

2. Focus on Current Events and Parashat Hashavuah
Chana German, Co-ordinator, Virtual Resource Center
The Lookstein Center

3. How should Jewish educators deal with Emma Goldman?
A response to Dr. David I. Bernstein, Dean, Pardes Institute of Jewish
Studies (See MIFGASHIM March 2 & 9 2003)
Jennifer Sartori, Women of Valor Program Director at the Jewish Women’s
Archive, Brookline, MA


4. The Role of Heroes in Jewish Education
A response to Tali Tarlow, Jewish Studies Teacher, Curriculum Developer,
Hasmonean School, London (See MIFGASHIM February 3,24; March 2,9 & 17 2003)
Michael Margolis, Perth, Australia

5. Women's History Month
Jennifer Sartori: Jewish Women's Archive, Brookline, MA

-----------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS

1. Resource of the Week
Esther Feldman: Director, Information and Technology Services
The Lookstein Center


This week's resource of the week: Newshour Extra from pbs.org - a news hour
for students. This month, PBS offers teachers daily lesson plans on
"Teaching the Iraq War".

To see this week's resource go to

http://www.lookstein.org/resource_week/march2003.htm

or to

http://www.lookstein.org/resource_week.htm and click on March 2003

(Last year, the Lookstein Center developed an instructional unit that may
be of current interest. It is entitled, "War, Peace and Judaism". In the
three-lesson unit, students explore war and peace in Judaism by studying
traditional Jewish texts. Available in PDF and HTML

http://www.lookstein.org/lessonplans/wpteachers.pdf
http://www.lookstein.org/lessonplans/wpstudents.pdf

http://www.lookstein.org/lessonplans/wpteachers.htm
http://www.lookstein.org/lessonplans/wpstudents.htm

-----------------------------------------------------------


2. Focus on Current Events and Parashat Hashavuah
Chana German, Co-ordinator, Virtual Resource Center
The Lookstein Center

Each week the Lookstein Center offers educators discussion points to focus
on in the classroom for both the weekly Torah portion and current events in
Israel. These resources can be accessed at

http://www.lookstein.org/edu_focus_on.htm

This week: Focus On Current Events delves into the question of what is true
discrimination and what is perceived discrimination.

Focus on Parashat HaShavuah (Shemini) explores the relationship between
humans and the animal kingdom. Specifically, if humans are supposed to
avoid eating predators, why is it appropriate for humans to be predators
themselves?

"This is the Torah of the beasts, and of the birds, and of every living
creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the
earth: to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between
the beast that may be eaten and the beat that may not be eaten."
Vayyikra 11: 46-47

-----------------------------------------------------------


3. How should Jewish educators deal with Emma Goldman?
A response to Dr. David I. Bernstein, Dean, Pardes Institute of Jewish
Studies (See MIFGASHIM March 2 & 9 2003)
Jennifer Sartori, Women of Valor Program Director at the Jewish Women’s
Archive, Brookline, MA

I welcome David Bernstein’s recent comments about teaching Emma Goldman in
Jewish schools.  For the sake of full disclosure, I’d like to say first
that the Jewish Women’s Archive does not in fact house Goldman’s papers.
We have featured some of these papers in an on-line exhibit on our website

(http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/goldman/)

but the bulk of Goldman’s archives are held by the Emma Goldman Papers

(http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/goldman/)

or at other libraries and archives around the world.

I do think, however, that students in Jewish schools – and not just
academics – can gain a great deal from studying Goldman and her
experiences.  As Jewish educators, we want to teach students how to think
critically about the world around them.  We certainly want to help them
develop a strong Jewish identity, but we also want them to learn to
analyze, critique, and challenge what they learn.

Goldman can serve as an ideal figure for encouraging this kind of
learning.  Bernstein mentions Goldman’s “anti-Judaism, anti-Zionism and her
anarchism” as “readily apparent, and perhaps even overwhelming” flaws.  But
within each of those elements of Goldman’s experience is a complex and
intriguing story.  Goldman did question all organized religion, but she
also took inspiration from many figures from Jewish history and from the
long Jewish tradition of work for social justice.  She opposed the creation
of a Jewish state because she opposed the state in general, but in the
1930s, she became far more sympathetic to efforts to establish a Jewish
homeland.  And while many people disagree strongly with Goldman’s political
views, there is much to be admired in her ideals of universal freedom.

As a result, Goldman’s history can challenge students to wrestle for
themselves with many complicated but deeply important issues.  They may not
agree with her, but they can learn from her.  Because many of her
experiences eerily foreshadow today’s events, students can simultaneously
learn about the past and struggle with the present.  I certainly agree with
Bernstein that courage alone does not make a hero.  To some, Goldman is
indeed a hero, but I would argue that she can help even educators who do
not see her as such to approach a wide range of difficult but important
subjects with their students.  In doing so, they can help to shape the
kinds of critical thinking skills that are so crucial to a dynamic and
vibrant Jewish future.

-----------------------------------------------------------

3. The Role of Heroes in Jewish Education
A response to Tali Tarlow, Jewish Studies Teacher, Curriculum Developer,
Hasmonean School, London (See MIFGASHIM February 3,24; March 2,9 & 17 2003)
Michael Margolis, Perth, Australia

I am in agreement with Tali Tarlow when she says:

“…one should not only teach about the hero per se but also how one
manages to interpret the hero's deeds to real actions in our lives.”

She also makes the compelling point that “it is very important when
teaching about Jewish heroes to focus on the issue of tolerance. Different
people have different heroes and searching for the act of heroism in the
eyes of the "other" is a valuable tool in opening our minds towards our
fellow Jews across the spectrum of Judaism.”

Where I take issue with her is when she says the following:

“.. heroism is not only about super-people doing super deeds, but about
regular people who found it in themselves to do super deeds.”

I guess it’s Tali’s use of the word “super” that bothers me. This precludes
recognition of the heroic acts and deeds that take place every day but are
not in the spotlight or the glare of publicity or won’t fall into the
definition of what “super deeds” may be. What about those unsung and
unknown heroes who are not superstars or famous politicians or sportsmen?
How do we go about acknowledging what may be routine every day acts of
gemillut chassidim and how do we encourage our students to understand that
heroism is not about easy celebrity and amassing a fortune because of one’s
physical skills or good looks but about people in our midst who are simply
doing the right thing – whether by instinct, or religious principle and/or
for no altruistic reason whatsoever? How do we in short teach for tikun
olam not on a grand and elaborate scale but within the midst of your
family, friends and teachers? How do we internalize in our students the
value of simple, uncomplicated good deeds which while they may not fall
into the “super” range, are nevertheless acts of heroic proportions?
-----------------------------------------------------------

5. Women's History Month
Jennifer Sartori: Jewish Women's Archive, Brookline, MA

Women's History Month invites us to focus on women's history in March.
The Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) offers a range of resources—for educators,
students, lay leaders, historians and interested individuals—that
demonstrate the variety and impact of Jewish women's contributions to
American and Jewish society and culture. These resources can be used as a
part of Women's History Month programming in classrooms, museums and
synagogues.

In honor of Women's History Month, JWA and Hillel's Joseph Meyerhoff
Center for Jewish Learning are pleased to present "Women of Chayil," a
post-modern Talmud page. This Talmud page examines the tensions and sparks
between the Eshet Chayil text, traditional Jewish commentary, and the
voices of modern "Women of Valor." Join Beruriah, Bella Abzug, and several
others in a dynamic conversation about the meaning and impact of a woman
of "chayil." Go to

http://www.jwa.org

and click on the "Eshet Chayil: Women of Valor Feminist Talmud Page" button
on the left.


JWA offers a set of 18 posters that spotlight a diverse array of Women
of Valor, including politician Bella Abzug; athlete Bobbie Rosenfeld;
modern dancer and choreographer Anna Sokolow; anthropologist Barbara
Myerhoff; philanthropist Rebecca Gratz and actress Molly Picon. Extensive
multimedia exhibits at

http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/

complement the Women of Valor posters. The newest exhibit contains a wealth
of material on a unique, inspiring and often-controversial figure in
American Jewish history: radical activist Emma Goldman. The posters and
accompanying resource guides are available individually or as a set by
emailing [log in to unmask] or by calling JWA at (617) 232-2258.


JWA's new "Primary Sources" online educational materials make it easier
to integrate historical artifacts into existing curricula and programs.
"Primary Sources" includes easy-to-print teacher notes, student activity
sheets, discussion questions and digitized versions of documents. Find
it at

http://www.jwa.org/resources/primarysources/index.htm.


JWA's Women Who Dared exhibit, at

http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/

includes the words of contemporary Jewish women activists from around the
country who have been honored by JWA, addressing their experiences as Jews,
as women and as activists. Their stories remind us of the many
extraordinary things that "ordinary" women do; they also teach us that none
of us is ordinary, and we are all capable of making a difference. The
online Women Who Dared exhibit has been updated this month to include
biographical information and oral history excerpts from 10 additional
women, joining 24 others previously available.

To receive email updates from JWA, please email [log in to unmask]
[mailto: [log in to unmask]].

-----------------------------------------------------------

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

The Mifgashim List is a project of
The Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora
The School of Education, Bar Ilan University

To leave the list, respond to this message with the word "remove" in the
subject line.
To post a message, please write us at: [log in to unmask]

You can search the archives at
http://listserv.biu.ac.il/archives/mifgashim.html

Check out online educational materials and information on other
Lookstein Center programs on our website at http://www.lookstein.org/.

The website is supported, in part, by a generous grant from the
AviChai Foundation.

Further information may be obtained by writing to: [log in to unmask]

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