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MIFGASHIM  June 2009

MIFGASHIM June 2009

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 76

From:

Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 8 Jun 2009 15:50:17 +0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (199 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 76



Contents:

1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Debriefing After Class

2.	Responses:  Ordained Female Orthodox Rabbi (Kirschbaum, Skaist)

3.	Lookstein Center Remote Teacher Program

4.	Education in the News:  The $125,000 Teacher

5.	Marshall Memo: Teaching Students to Care


~~~~~~~~~


1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Debriefing After Class

In this week's episode, Mark Smilowitz talks about debriefing after class. 

So many things happen in class that a teacher needs to remember, but keeping all those 
thoughts organized is a dizzying prospect. Teachers need to "debrief" after class.  Here is 
one way of doing it. 

To subscribe or listen, go to http://www.lookstein.org/podcasts/


~~~~~~~~~


2.	Responses:  Ordained Female Orthodox Rabbi (Kirschbaum, Skaist)

Yonatan Kaganoff misses the point in his post in Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 75.

Rabbi Ben-Nun, Rabbi Sperber and Rabbi Maroof did not write teshuvot "permitting the 
use of electricity on Shabbat or doing away with the mechitza," and it is inconceivable 
that any of the three respected Rabbanim would ever do so. It is precisely because of this 
reason that their teshuvot hold muster.

Furthermore, while it is reasonable to argue against the ordination of women within the 
modern Orthodox framework, the implication that that such a bestowment is tantamount 
to chillul shabbat is not only a gross exaggeration, it is also an insult.

B'virkot HaTorah,
Rachel Kirschbaum
[log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


After reading R. Bin-Nun's responsum I am convinced that he missed an important point. 

He writes:
"Regarding that which many people are concerned about – the breaking of boundaries, 
and an erosion towards Reform and Feminist directions – this concern exists for men no 
less than for women. (etc.)"

What he fails to understand is that this issue of breaking boundaries is not a men versus 
women issue. The driving force behind much of the Orthodox feminist movement is a 
belief in an egalitarianism that is a relic of the 60's and 70's.  Namely, it is a belief that 
equality means "sameness." 

The potential erosion or even breakdown in the crucial role of the Jewish woman would 
be devastating for Orthodoxy regardless of whether this woman (or others like her) is 
really pursuing the rabbinate for the sake of heaven. Blurring boundaries and definitions 
is a great way to destroy a society's value system and bring about the death of its 
character.

What all the authors of all these responsa do not seem understand is that all the 
examples that they have brought of women that served some sort of rabbinical role, were 
exceptions. To establish a new norm based on the precedent of exceptions is ludicrous.

Joseph Skaist
[log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


3.	Lookstein Center Remote Teacher Program

Still looking for an outstanding teacher? The Lookstein Center Remote Teacher Program 
may have the answer for you.
 
Having very successfully completed its three-year pilot phase, this program is now 
available to the broader day school community--even yours.
 
The program provides North American schools with outstanding teachers who actually sit 
in Israel and meet 2-3 times a week via video conferencing. Teachers can be provided for 
all Jewish studies subjects including Talmud, Bible, Hebrew Language, Jewish Thought, 
Prayer and Zionism, to name a few.
 
Participating schools only need to have an adult assistant who can monitor the class 
during the lessons and basic video conferencing capability.
 
The program is subsidized by the Avi Chai Foundation.
 
For more information regarding eligibility, costs and implementation, please contact 
[log in to unmask]


~~~~~~~~~


4.	Education in the News:  The $125,000 Teacher

The June 5, 2009 edition of the New York Times featured an article by Elissa Gootman 
exploring the effects of paying educators extremely well.  Will doing so translate into 
success for students? A school set to open in New York in September may answer that 
question.  


“The school, called the Equity Project, is premised on the theory that excellent teachers — 
and not revolutionary technology, talented principals or small class size — are the critical 
ingredient for success. Experts hope it could offer a window into some of the most 
pressing and elusive questions in education: Is a collection of superb teachers enough to 
make a great school? Are six-figure salaries the way to get them? And just what makes a 
teacher great?”

What would happen if Jewish day schools were to do the same?

The article may be viewed at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/education/05charter.html?_r=1&emc=eta1


~~~~~~~~~


5.	Marshall Memo: Teaching Students to Care

Jewish day schools interested in middot education might think through the implications of 
the research reported in this Educational Leadership article.

Two staffers from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) summarize what’s been 
learned about prosocial behavior among students, which they define as “positive actions 
that benefit others, prompted by empathy, moral values, and a sense of personal 
responsibility rather than a desire for personal gain.” Examples include saying a kind 
word to a classmate, acknowledging other students’ feelings, sharing books and advice, 
and defending a victim of bullying.

Schools are in an ideal position to foster prosocial behavior, say the authors, and they 
recommend the following research-based steps, with the caveat that any program should 
be implemented schoolwide and requires a good deal of staff training time:

	• Integrate values instruction into classroom management, for example, including 
students in class decision-making and having students work in cooperative groups on 
academic tasks. A useful resource is the Responsive Classroom program
(http://www.responsiveclassroom.org).

	• Foster a caring community throughout the school. All adults in the school – 
teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, volunteers – 
should model and promote caring and respectful behavior. Cross-age student “buddy” 
activities also help. A useful resource is the Caring School Community program 
(http://www.devstu.org/csc). 

	• Use positive discipline practices. “Threats, punishments, and extrinsic rewards 
might keep a lid on negative behavior but will not necessarily promote prosocial 
behavior, write the authors. A more positive approach includes clear expectations, 
discussion, and modeling. A useful program is Positive Behavioral Interventions and 
Supports, which aims to promote prosocial attitudes in all parts of the school 
(http://www.pbis.org).

“Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior” by Yael Kidron and Steve Fleischman in 
Educational Leadership, April 2006 (Vol. 63, #7, p. 90-91).  See 
http://kshiro.1stfreehosting.com/html/edu/teachcorner.html#Research%20Matters%20Pro
moting%20Adolescents%20Prosocial%20Behavior for an e-link.

The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual 
subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________

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

The Center encourages you to become a paid member and
benefit for the wide variety of programming offered by the Center.
For information see http://www.lookstein.org/joinus/.

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

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 e-community is supported by generous grants from Evelyn and Shmuel Katz, Bal Harbour, Fl.

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

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