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ERIC Number: EJ828095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 1
ISSN: ISSN-1524-4113
Considering the Informal Jewish Educator
Winer, Laura Novak
Journal of Jewish Education, v73 n2 p143-145 May 2007
Informal Jewish education can and must put greater focus on the goals of education. While socialization is a key component, it is not its sole goal. Informal Jewish education must make more central deep, serious Jewish learning in which learners can experience moments of transcendence, connection, and transformation. A key to reaching this goal lies in thinking about the informal Jewish "educator". Through the author's work with the Union for Reform Judaism, she meets youth workers and informal educators from congregations across North America, in the Union summer camps and travel programs, and she interacts with colleagues in informal education across the movements. In all settings in which informal education takes place, the author has met gifted and talented Jewish educators who care deeply about the work they do with youth. Yet, as powerful, meaningful, and oftentimes successful, as their efforts are, the author finds that their work often resides within the realm of socialization. Reflecting on why many informal Jewish educators do not move beyond socialization, the author finds three possible answers, none mutually exclusive: (1) training; (2) self-perception; and (3) institutional expectations. She also finds that there is not yet sufficient support from communal institutions to train educators in informal Jewish education. She asserts that "if the Jewish community were to commit to providing this fuller version of informal Jewish education to the youth, there would have to be a more substantial investment in preparing professionals to learn how to become genuine informal Jewish educators." In this article, the author addresses the need for Jewish institutions of higher learning to put greater resources toward developing graduate courses and degree programs in informal Jewish education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A