ERIC Number: ED273555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jun
Reference Count: 0
A Century Later and Worlds Apart: American Reform Jews and the Public School-Private School Dilemma, 1870, 1970.
Reform Judaism, the branch of Judaism most liberal in religious practice and most committed to adapting to the realities of modern America, has recently abandoned its opposition to Jewish day schools and has thereby signalled its acceptance of an alternative to public education. When the ancestors of these Reform Jews came to America in the middle of the nineteenth century, they were anxious to become part of American economic and social life. While ripe for acceptance of the public schools, many Jews initially rejected them and opted for either private Jewish schools or nonsectarian academies. But by 1870 changes in the public schools and among the Jews themselves, led to a solid consensus favoring public education. That consensus remained unchallenged until the 1960s which culminated in the establishment of the first two modern Reform day schools in 1970. This paper explores the events surrounding establishment of the unequivocal public school consensus among Reform Jews in the 1870s and its erosion beginning in the 1960s. Particular emphasis is placed on explanations focusing on religious influence in the public schools, issues of quality secular and Jewish education, and Jewish perceptions of how to fulfill Judaism's commitment to social justice. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).