About 350,000 Jewish children are currently enrolled in Jewish day schools, in every continent other than Antarctica. This is the first book-length consideration of life in such schools and of their relationship both to the Jewish community and to society as a whole. It provides a rich sense of how community is constructed within Jewish schools, and of how they contribute to or complicate the construction of community in the wider society. The volume reframes day-school research in three ways. First, it focuses not just on the learner in the day-school classroom but sees schools as agents of and for the community. Second, it brings a truly international perspective to the study of day schools, viewing them in relation to the socio-cultural contexts from which they emerge and where they have impact. Third, it considers day-school education in relation to insights derived from the study and practice of non-parochial education. This cross-cultural and genuinely comparative approach to the study of Jewish schooling draws on research from the United States, the former Soviet Union, South America, and Europe, making it possible to arrive at important and original insights into parochial Jewish schooling. With contributions from outstanding scholars as well as practitioners of public education and of Jewish parochial schooling, the volume reveals conflicting conceptions of the social functions of schooling and also produces original insights into the capacity of schools to build community. The book is timely in that it studies questions about faith-based schooling and the public good that today are as much questions of public policy as they are of academic inquiry. It will appeal first and foremost to those with a particular interest in Jewish schooling but will also attract the attention of academics and professionals concerned with the place of parochial education in contemporary society. Contributors: Ami Bouganim, Erik H. Cohen, Ira Dashefsky, Howard Deitcher, Jay Dewey, Joshua Elkin, Yoel Finkelman, Zvi Gitelman, Scott J. Goldberg, Ellen B. Goldring, Yossi J. Goldstein, Eli Kohn, Jeffrey S.Kress, Binyamin Krohn, Jon A. Levisohn, Ilana Maryles Sztokman, Deborah Meier, Helena Miller, Christine Muller, Michal Muszkat Barkan, Alex Pomson, Joseph Reimer, Randal Schnoor, Susan L. Shevitz, Asher Shkedi, Claire Smrekar, Uriel Ta'ir, Michael Turetsky, Rahel Wasserfall.
'Particularly relevant at
this time when more Jewish children than ever, around the globe, attend Jewish
day schools . . . comprehensive in its exploration of how schools and
communities can be mutually influential in strengthening and developing Jewish
identity . . . The book is optimistic about the future of Jewish day schooling
and inspires belief in the breadth of opportunities to strengthen and develop
Jewish communities and Jewish education . . . thorough and articulate . . .
critically important as a reminder that when moulded the right way schools have
a unique opportunity to breathe freshness, dynamism, and life into Jewish
- Adele Stowe-Linder, Manna
'Its cross-cultural and
comparative approach reveals conflicting conceptions of the social functions of
schooling, a new understanding of the capacity of schools to build community,
and insights into faith-based schooling and the public good.'