LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for MIFGASHIM Archives


MIFGASHIM Archives

MIFGASHIM Archives


MIFGASHIM@LISTSERV.BIU.AC.IL


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MIFGASHIM Home

MIFGASHIM Home

MIFGASHIM  August 2013

MIFGASHIM August 2013

Subject:

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 259

From:

Rabbi Lee Buckman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 05:29:14 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (490 lines)

Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 259



Mifgashim will not be published for the next four weeks due to the
Yamim Noraim and Chagim.  We wish all our readers a Shana Tova, a
happy and healthy new year for you, your family, your students, and
all of k’lal yisrael.







Contents:





1.         Day schools are not about Jewish Identity, but Jewish Literacy



2.         Forget about Jewish Identity; we need Torah, Avodah, and
Gemilut Chasadim



3.         Marshall Memo:  Using Student “Guardians” to Deal with
High-School Bullying





~~~~~~~~~





1.         Day schools are not about Jewish Identity, but Jewish Literacy





Dr. Marc Kramer, Executive Director of Ravsak, writes in the August
27, 2013 issue of eJewishphilanthropy, that we need to educate
stakeholders that the main reason to send a child to a Jewish day
school is not simply to create a Jewish identity.  The bar is much
higher.  Jewish day schools teach Jewish literacy.



He writes:



The real argument, I believe, is that Jewish day schools uniquely make
possible authentic Jewish literacy. Camp, great. Youth group, great.
Israel trips, great. But none of these experiences give our children
the skills, tools, role models, information, exposure and positive
dispositions to personally engage with Jewish sacred texts – ancient
to modern – in ways that leave a lasting imprint on their hearts and
souls.



Too many American Jews have little more than a passing acquaintance
with the treasures of Jewish tradition. They can neither read nor
write, let alone speak, their national language. They do not
understand the laws of Judaism and have little sense of the aura of
obligation and sanctity that the mitzvot engender….



And yet, most American Jews still “identify” as Jewish. They encounter
Jewish moments and “feel Jewish.” They partake in certain foods and
feel they are “eating Jewishly.” They do good and just and charitable
deeds and think that are “acting Jewishly.” They don’t go to church or
hunt because these are “not Jewish.” In short, they have personally
defined a sense of what “being” Jewish is and as such, have a “Jewish
identity.”



Jewish identity is fuel-efficient: Just a little juice and it runs. As
such, the small jolts of energy that supplementary schools and camps
and youth groups and summer trips to Israel provide are enough to fuel
“Jewish identity.”



….Jewish literacy, on the other hand, is a real gas guzzler. It takes
a great deal of fuel to power Jewish literacy, especially when Jewish
literacy and Hebrew literacy are intertwined (as I believe it must
be). The engines of Jewish literacy – engines that drive Jewish
citizenship, peoplehood, spiritual meaning, ethical living and
intellectualism – cannot simply sip from Sunday school and summer
camp; they need full tanks and ample refills at the pumping stations
we call day schools. Here I think of an atomic power plant: it takes a
great deal of expertise, time and energy to make fusion possible, but
the result is an ever more powerful, energizing source that can light
100,000 homes. It isn’t cheap, it isn’t easy, it comes with risks, it
comes with controversies, yet the results are unparalleled.



Day schools likewise require tremendous resources and demand
sacrifices from parents and the community. But they are capable of
generating a Jewish light that no other source can remotely equal.
Judaism is a difficult religion, with a great deal to learn just to
achieve a baseline of proficiency. It is easy to “feel” Jewish; it is
just as easy to feel less Jewish. For the hard work of achieving
competency, the confidence to take ownership over our heritage and
translate it in ways that it continues to be resonant and meaningful
for Jews today and in the future – for this, there is no substitute
for day schools.





The full-length article may be found at:

http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/beyond-identity-day-schools-deliver-jewish-literacy/



~~~~~~~~~





2.         Forget about Jewish Identity; we need Torah, Avodah, and
Gemilut Chasadim



Daniel Septimus, the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of MyJewishLearning.com,
writes in his essay “Forget About Jewish Identity” from February 23,
2010, about the emptiness of a Jewish identity devoid of anything but
feelings of pride.



He writes:



Over the last several years, I have read dozens of articles and
listened to scores of conversations about the challenge of
strengtheningJewish identity in America….



This may seem neither controversial nor remarkable, but I believe that
the obsessive focus on identity is both misguided and fundamentally
alien to Jewish tradition.

What do organizations mean when they say they want to strengthen or
cultivate Jewish identity?



At The Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly, in a
panel on Jewish Peoplehood, Dr. Erica Brown noted that there are three
components to identity formation: the cognitive (what we think), the
behavioral (what we do), and the emotional (what we feel). In
discussing some of the maladies plaguing the American Jewish
community, Dr. Brown suggested an interesting diagnosis: when American
Jews speak about Jewish identity they aggressively emphasize the
emotional.



In other words, to too many American Jews, Jewish identity means feeling Jewish.

Dr. Brown's insight articulated something I have been noticing for
years and was, most recently, driven home during a conversation with a
prominent Jewish philanthropist. As we spoke, this generous and
committed Jewish leader extolled the virtues of Jewish education and
lamented its current state. When I asked him what he wanted Jewish
education to achieve-what its aim should be-his answer was simple: "I
want Jewish kids to feel proud of being Jewish."



….So what's so bad about putting all of our eggs in the basket of
emotional identity?

First, as Dr. Brown noted, it ignores the importance of "what we
think" and "what we do."



…. Being an ‘identified Jew' is not just about feeling Jewish, but
about expressing Jewish belonging and undertaking identifiably Jewish
behaviors."



…. It's difficult for me to think of a single traditional Jewish text
that discusses the importance of feeling Jewish. Not only is the
centrality of emotional identity not rooted in Jewish tradition, it is
likely an expression of our alienation from this tradition.



….The idea I'm suggesting here, then, is that we abandon the rhetoric
of identity, that we stop programming and funding the goal of
strengthening Jewish identity….



The second mishnah in Pirkei Avot reports the following: "Shimon the
Righteous was one of the last survivors of the Great Assembly. He used
to say: The world is sustained on three things: on Torah, on the
Temple service [avodah], and on deeds of loving kindness [gemilut
hasadim]."



What are these three pillars?

1)   Torah, which includes education and study, the intellectual and
cognitive aspects of Judaism.

2)   Avodah, which in Pirke Avot refers to the service of God as
conducted in the Temple, but can generally encompass the religious,
spiritual, and ritual aspects of Jewish life.

3)   Gemilut hasadim, which incorporates the ethical demands of
Judaism-helping the poor, visiting the sick, fighting for the dignity
of all.



I'd like to see the rhetoric of Jewish programming and funding guided
by these three categories. Of course, there are other values that
could be used as touchstones for Jewish priorities. The People of
Israel and the Land of Israel are two that come to mind. But while I
wouldn't ignore the importance of Peoplehood and Israel, I believe
Shimon's pillars speak more directly to the human condition.



While Shimon's framework is Jewish, I don't think it's incidental that
he believed "the world" was sustained by these three items. One might
argue that a full life-for individuals and communities-includes
elements of these three categories: the intellectual, the spiritual,
and the ethical.



If our goal is to raise a generation of Jews who feel Jewish, then our
aspirations are, I fear, limited and foreign. Creating a Jewish
community that is committed to study, ritual, and helping others seems
like a nobler endeavor. And a more Jewish one at that.



The full-length article may be found at

http://www.jewcy.com/religion-and-beliefs/28_days_28_ideas_idea_23





~~~~~~~~~





3.         Marshall Memo:  Using Student “Guardians” to Deal with
High-School Bullying



In this intriguing Education Digest article, Nantucket High School
(MA) behavior specialist Gregory Toledo describes the school’s
approach to bullying. He says the “Guardian” program, now in its third
year, has been highly effective at reducing incidents, helping all
students feel safe, and improving the school’s culture.



Toledo and his colleagues define bullying as harassment, intimidation,
belittling, or uncivil targeting by other students. They believe that
a bullying incident usually has three characteristics:

-        It is relatively brief.

-        It is not witnessed or noticed by adults.

-        It is not reported.



Efforts to get students to report bullying are futile, he believes.
“The social consequences for victims and reporters often intensify,
causing a chilling effect on students’ willingness to come forward,”
he says, “…driving it further into the shadows.” But Toledo doesn’t
think the usual “law enforcement” approach to bullying works either.



What makes more sense, he believes, is seeing bullying as a cultural
problem, since it happens almost entirely within the student milieu.
“The bullying dynamic is fairly consistent and straightforward,” says
Toledo: “A bully will victimize a vulnerable student for personal
entertainment and/or to entertain other students. Other students
present may join in by goading, laughing, or tacitly encouraging that
behavior. Or they may remain silent, walk away, or avoid the situation
altogether.”



“But not everyone endorses this form of entertainment,” he continues,
“and the silent and moral majority, if you will, is what we must tap
into.” Toledo and his colleagues decided to recruit “Guardians” to
help solve their school’s bullying problem. “Some students – the
uninvolved, disapproving students who want to stop bullying, but who
have no answers in the moment and no organized support network – are
potential Guardians.”



Every year, students are recruited based on recommendations from
teachers, other staff, and existing Guardians based on these criteria:

-        Integrity

-        Compassion and empathy

-        Nonviolence

-        Wisdom and sound judgment

-        Courage



Students are interviewed and selected, and those who agree to become
Guardians have a private meeting in October in which they pair up with
either Toledo or his assistant as an adult “ally” and go through
training and role-playing on different techniques for dealing with
bullying. The Guardians remain anonymous within the school and are
asked to be discreet about their role; they rarely meet as a group,
don’t have a group photograph, and aren’t acknowledged in the
yearbook. “There is no glory,” says Toledo.



When a Guardian witnesses or hears about a bullying incident, he or
she immediately speaks to the victim and offers support, so the
student doesn’t feel alone and that nobody cares. Guardians then
decide on an “intervention” – but they are not avengers. Violence is
totally banned from this program. Here are some of the options
Guardians are trained in:



• Consultation – If the Guardian is unsure about what to do, he or she
may speak with Toledo or his assistant for advice. Unless there is an
immediate safety issue, no names are used in these talks. This chat
can lead to one or more of the interventions below.



• Hand-off – The Guardian informs Toledo or his assistant and they
take over. If there is no immediate safety issue, there is no report
to the administration, but one of several things may happen: (a)
Toledo or his assistant may show up at the place and time where the
bullying is happening and preempt it; (b) They may alert specific
teachers about where and when the bullying is happening so they can
prevent it; (c) They may contact an adjustment counselor to help
support the victim; (d) They may check class lists to see where the
victim, bully, and Guardian intersect during the school day; if a
Guardian knows the bully and/or the victim, he or she may speak to one
or both to “get under” the bullying dynamic and see if it can be
stopped; (e) Toledo may speak to the victim, offering support or
strategy (“I establish trust by reassuring the victim that I will do
nothing that he or she is uncomfortable with, unless safety is an
issue,” he says); and finally, (f) If he knows the bully, Toledo will
casually suggest, without letting on that he knows about the bullying,
that the bully, as a favor, “look out for” the victim. “Usually, the
behavior would cease by having a light discreetly shined on it,” says
Toledo.



• Standing up – If a Guardian sees bullying happening, he or she may
(a) Walk up and stand beside the victim, silently facing the bully
with a nonthreatening posture, or say “Come on” to the victim and walk
away; or (b) Address the bully by name and ask him or her to stop it.
“If the Guardian is especially skilled, has status in the student
culture, or has an earlier connection with the bully,” says Toledo,
“the incident almost always withers away.” Both approaches usually
interrupt the incident and put a stop to the bullying.



• A strategic fib – During an incident, the Guardian may tell the
victim that he or she has a phone call in the front office or needs to
see a particular teacher right away, interrupting the incident and
giving the victim a face-saving way out.



• Assignments – Toledo describes a situation where a boy’s mother
called the school to report that her son was being bothered every day
by several students at the end of a particular class. Toledo looked at
the roster and saw that there was a Guardian in the class. The next
day, the Guardian introduced himself to the victim and started to walk
out of the classroom with him. One of the bullies yanked the victim’s
book bag from behind, and the Guardian turned and asked, “What are you
doing?” “I’m just playing around…” said the bully. “That’s not cool.
You shouldn’t do stuff like that,” said the Guardian. Toledo reports
that this stopped the bullying cold. “The intervention was minimal,
not personal – and highly effective,” he writes. “It was a form of
positive peer pressure by a student who gently wove himself into the
dynamic and managed to shift the spotlight from the victim to the
offender.”



Toledo says that each bullying situation is different and Guardians,
because they are closer to situations than adults, can usually scope
out the best approach. “They have more exact information, often know
the details of the dynamic, and have social connections among their
peer group that we lack,” he writes. “They have the greatest potential
to both shore up students who are singled out for harassment and
intervene discreetly and naturally. Guardians may decide not to get
too involved and in fact are trusted to make their own decisions,” he
concludes. “They are not expected to become social martyrs. Fulfilling
their minimum obligation is enough for the victim to feel support.”



Toledo describes his role (and that of his assistant) as offering
experience, wisdom, and support. “Our authority is not surrendered,”
he says, “only placed further down the line so that we can work
directly and indirectly with students to devise lesser and, frankly,
far more effective solutions.”



“The Guardians Initiative: A Student-Centered Approach to Bullying” by
Gregory Toledo in Education Digest, December 2008 (Vol. 74, #4, p.
10-15), no e-link available; the author can be reached at
[log in to unmask]



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 unsubscribe, please send an email to [log in to unmask] with "unsubscribe MIFGASHIM" in the
body of the text.

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]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.BIU.AC.IL

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager