As Hebrew language charter schools (HLCSs) arise in communities across the United States, they have added to the array of choices that parents face when making education decisions. In response to this change to the education marketplace, Jewish day schools have recognized the need to clarify the distinctive values of a Jewish day school education.
RAVSAK has convened a Task Force on Hebrew Language Charter Schools to explore the impact of the HLCS movement on Jewish education nationwide. This past June, 50 people took part in a webinar that explored the philosophy and branches of the charter school movement, mapped the locations of current and soon-to-open Hebrew language charter schools and fostered an open discussion about the interests and needs of the day school field.
RAVSAK’s Task Force has divided into three working groups, which meet monthly via phone to work together to tackle three critical areas:
Advocacy: This group focuses on making the case for Jewish day schools, including a clear articulation of the value of Jewish day school education in relation to other options.
Research: This group researches Hebrew language charter schools, including current and prospective schools and locations, as well as gathering information on their impact on both local communities and enrollment at local Jewish day schools.
Professional Development: This group examines current professional development opportunities in the general marketplace in both pedagogy training and content training in service of keeping Jewish day schools strong. It also studies existing implementations of day school professional development.
We are pleased to announce that Jerry Isaac-Shapiro, Head of School at The Agnon School in Cleveland, Ohio, and Tammy Fayne, Board Secretary at David Posnack Jewish Day School in Davie, Florida, have agreed to co-chair the Task Force as well as the Advocacy Work Group. Additionally, we welcome Dr. Larry Kutler, Scholar in Residence at San Diego Jewish Academy, as chair of the Research Work Group and Dr. Ray Levi, Head of School at the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School, as chair of the Professional Development Work Group.
We invite you to join a work group and help schools respond in a proactive and productive way to the challenges and opportunities presented by HLCSs. Please email HLCS@ravsak.org to sign up, to share your thoughts or to learn more. And look for the session hosted by the Task Force at the upcoming conference in Atlanta!♦
Each fall, the seventh grade students in my Jewish social studies class begin the year by participating in the Jewish Court of All Time online simulation. JCAT is an innovative learning adventure that is a joint venture between the University of Cincinnati’s...[More]
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