NEWSLETTER OF THE Number 37 Spring 2012/5771
NRJE Creates Images of Research EDITOR'S COLUMN RENEE RUBIN ROSS | firstname.lastname@example.org
y almost 5-year-old daughter attends a Montessori preschool in which students select “work” during extended periods: hands-on activities in subject areas such as math, language, or social studies. Her teacher told me recently that my daughter has been selecting advanced math activities, but has avoided “work” that involves a longer time commitment. I asked my daughter about it and she concurred, explaining that she would not want to work on anything that would cause her to be late for her lunch break or outside time! I thought about how I might convey the message that some work is more time consuming, and that work takes patience but is worth the investment of time and energy. I told her about my dissertation, which I explained was a few hundred pages in length and took a few years to create. I think the idea sunk RENEE RUBIN ROSS in on some level, since she later told me that one of her dolls is also writing a book of a few hundred pages. I tell this story tongue-in-cheek, but I am serious about the bigger question, particularly with regard to the work of research in Jewish education: how do we create concrete images of how research is done, so that prospective researchers in Jewish education might visualize the stages of the process of bringing new knowledge and ideas into the world? Or so that researchersin-training can picture the path and know whether they are progressing and experiencing success? One important answer to this question is the existence of Network for Research in Jewish Education. Participating in the Network, particularly by attending the Conference, is a way to meet others in the field and see the process and progress of their work. The Consultation over Coffee sessions allow participants to see researchers in the question development phase; one can come back a year or two later and hear the “results” of a Consultation in a Paper Session…and frequently this work engages a conversation with others and contributes to a Spotlight session a year or two later. As See NRJE CREATES IMAGES OF RESEARCH, next page
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TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 EDITOR’S COLUMN: NRJE CREATES IMAGES OF RESEARCH Renee Rubin Ross 2 REFLECTIONS FROM THE NRJE CHAIR Jeffrey Kress 3 THE NETWORK FOR RESEARCH IN JEWISH EDUCATION 26TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE Karen Reiss-Medwed, Michael Shire & Tali Zelkowicz 4 JOURNAL OF JEWISH EDUCATION UPDATE Sue Kittner Huntting 4 NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS 5 NEWS FROM THE CONCENTRATION IN EDUCATION AND JEWISH STUDIES AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY Ari Kelman 5 NEWS FROM YESHIVA UNIVERSITY - AZRIELI GRADUATE .SCHOOL OF JEWISH EDUCATION AND ADMINISTRATION Susan Rosenberg 5 FIND US ON FACEBOOK! 6 NEWS FROM THE MANDEL CENTER AT BRANDEIS Susanne Shavelson 6 NEWS FROM THE DAVIDSON SCHOOL Ofra Backenroth 7 CONSORTIUM FOR APPLIED STUDIES IN JEWISH EDUCATION Rafi Cashman and Frayda Gonshor Cohen NETWORK EXECUTIVE JEFF KRESS – Network Chair LEORA ISAACS – Secretary ELI SCHAAP – Treasurer DAVID BRYFMAN – Technical Committee Coordinator LISA GRANT – Immediate Past Network Chair CAROL INGALL – Emerging Scholars Award and Past Network Chair JONATHAN KRASNER – 2011 Program Chair RACHEL LERNER – Graduate Student Liason KAREN REISS MEDWED – 2012 Conference Co-Chair SARAH OSSEY – Graduate Student Liaison ALEX POMSON – Past Network Chair RENEE RUBIN ROSS – Newsletter Editor MICHAEL SHIRE – 2012 Conference Co-Chair LAURA WISEMAN – 2011 Conference Co-Chair TALI ZELKOWICZ – 2012 Program Chair MICHAEL ZELDIN – Senior Editor, Journal of Jewish Education
ARTICLES FOR THE FALL 2012 NEWSLETTER SHOULD REACH MICHELLE LYNN-SACHS AT MICHELLE.LYNN@NYU.EDU BY SEPTEMBER 7, 2012.
NEWSLETTER DESIGN Nicole Ray
Reflections from the NRJE Chair FROM THE CHAIR JEFFREY KRESS | firstname.lastname@example.org
he Network’s first year of its second quarter-century coincides with my final year as NRJE chair. As I write, the program for the 26th annual conference is taking shape, thanks to the efforts of Tali Zelkowicz (Program Chair) and Michael Shire and Karen Reiss Medwed (Conference Co-Chairs). As we look forward to that exciting event, I want to use my last chair’s Newsletter article as an opportunity to reflect and to think about the future. It is impossible to think about the last three years without noting the economic meltdown of the so-called Great Recession. The crisis has affected Network members and their institutions in a variety of ways. There have been cuts, consolidations, and restructurings. Many of those employed find themselves stretched and taking on additional responsibilities. Remarkably, though, there are many indicators of the ongoing strength of our field. Our foundational donors and academic programs in Jewish JEFF KRESS education have continued to support the Network through generous contributions that help greatly with travel awards, conference subsidies for graduate students, and research awards. NRJE conferences remain venues for presentation of cutting-edge research and for collegial networking that are well attended by researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners. There have been significant publications in the field, new academic and training programs, and new initiatives such as the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education, which was announced at the 2011 NRJE conference in Toronto. Looking ahead, we all might be facing an uncertain economic future but there are some exciting trends (I suppose I can call them certainties, but my training as a researcher leaves me disinclined to certainty…) for the NRJE and for our field in general in the years ahead. For me, the NRJE served as a way into the field of Jewish educational research; a way for me to expand what had been a relatively small element of my work into a focal area. The Network will continue to serve that purpose, providing a collegial community to those who spend much of their time associated with other research communities. However, with the creation and expansion of doctoral programs in Jewish education, the years ahead will see an expansion in the number of students and emerging scholars within our field. This points toward an exciting future, and we have had the benefit of learning from and with these students through their presentations at NRJE conferences. The NRJE, for its part, will need to think about what it means to “network” these emerging, larger cohorts that are emerging with trajectories within the field of Jewish educational research. Technology is another area that continues to emerge. The past years have seen a growth in the Network’s capacity and spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
infrastructure in this regard. We have a new well-branded and flexible website and a Facebook page. The next steps involve putting these tools to use in order to achieve the Network’s goal of enhancing the field by providing a professional community of Jewish educational researchers, nurturing emerging scholars, and creating dialogue among research, practice, and policy. *** o conclude, I greatly appreciate having had the opportunity to give back to this organization that meant so much to my own professional growth. I have had the wonderful experience of meeting individuals who are not only exceptional researchers but also wonderful colleagues and people. There are a few transitions that I would like to acknowledge. First, if you are reading this article, it is because of the wonderful efforts of Renee Rubin Ross, who has been editing our newsletter and who is stepping down after this issue. We welcome Michelle Lynn-Sachs as incoming editor. We also welcome Sarah Ossey, doctoral student at NYU, as our graduate student co-representative to the executive committee. Sarah, together with co-representative Rachel Lerner, will work to coordinate NRJE efforts related to graduate students. Finally, Jonathan Krasner, incoming NRJE chair, and I have already started working together to transition. I am delighted that Jonathan will be stepping into this position and will contribute his wisdom, insight and leadership to the Network. As many members know, Jonathan is on the faculty at HUC and has recently published the awardwinning book The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education. Jonathan’s warmth and scholarship exemplify the very traits that the Network strives to achieve. My warmest appreciation to the Network membership and leadership for your support, input, ideas, and suggestions over the past three years. Onward into our next quarter-century… see you in Newton Center, MA, June 10-12!
NRJE Creates Images of Research CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
Jeff Kress mentions in his article, the Conference is a way to learn about new research and perhaps think about how other projects might inform one’s own. Lastly, participation in the Network is a way to get feedback on one’s work, understand how others at the same stage of the process are approaching their work and ideas, and plan next steps. I am taking this opportunity to say how much the Network means to me and how much I have benefited from being part of the Executive Committee because, after three years as NRJE newsletter editor, I am passing the baton to my friend and colleague Michelle Lynn-Sachs. The newsletter will be in extremely competent hands. I will still be a participant in the NRJE, particularly through my role on the Executive Committee of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE). I have enjoyed writing my column and sharing news of the Network far and wide, and look forward to staying connected. <2>
THE NETWORK FOR RESEARCH IN JEWISH EDUCATION
26th Annual Conference | JUNE 10 –12, 2012 HEBREW COLLEGE NEWTON CENTRE, MASSACHUSETTS
TALI ZELKOWICZ , MICHAEL SHIRE and ail.com KAREN REISS MEDWED u nrjeprogramchair@gm @hebrewcollege.ed | e hir ms m | .co ail gm @ kreiss.medwed
of intellectually on’t miss three days ive conversation stimulating and provocat ctitioners in our field, among researchers and pra rence. Here is but a taste at this year’s NRJE Confe include: groundbreaking of what the program will ation from experienced research on Israel educ researchers in the and also up-and-coming l dedicated to a wide field, a complete pane enduring questions in range of both fresh and ucation, plus a host of Jewish early childhood ed g from the most recent spotlight sessions rangin ch in Jewish Special developments in resear g professional learning, Education, to re-imaginin approaches to pedagogy to bold explorations of inspired by and in and teacher preparation rship from fields and conversation with schola ish education. disciplines outside of Jew
• MUSEUM OF SCIENCE L HISTORY • HARVARD MUSEUM OF NATURA TRA AND THE BOSTON POPS • BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHES LIC GARDEN • BOSTON COMMON AND PUB • NEWBURY STREET
ERENCE SEMINAR: PLUS A POST CONF iritual Learning, which Sacred Teaching and Sp June 12th 3:00- 6:30 will take place: Tuesday, Boston. p.m. at Hebrew College, seminar on Sacred ren A post NRJE confe ce arning will be chaired Teaching and Spiritual Le Dean of the Shoolman by Dr. Michael Shire, Education, exploring Graduate School of Jewish ing for formation of new paradigms of teach ritual learning in Jewish religious identity and spi will include Professor Education. Presenters Dean of Theology and Mary Elizabeth Moore, University and w College for s Education at Boston bre iou He lig Re to ul tef gra so logy at We are Groome, Dean of Theo nference m Co To r by sso led ofe Pr ce, ren nfe hosting this co r Nehemia Polen of ren Reiss-Medwed, ston College and Professo Ka d Bo an ire Sh ael ch Mi s, seminar is Chair and exciting llege. The post conference ic Co tor w his bre He the joy en to u who invite yo ants and will include a d in 1630, Boston is free to all NRJE particip city of Boston. Founde st cities, a center for light supper. one of America's greate the e, car h alt he ology, education, finance, techn be in touch with any Please don’t hesitate to y. tor his d an re ltu cu s, art nference or its things to do in th questions about the co wi of s us itie of bil ssi po ss dle With en you in June! hlights: program. We hope to see Boston, here are a few hig • MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS MUSEUM • ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER IAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM • JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENT • NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM
spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
MORE INFO AVAILA
Call for Papers for Upcoming Themed Issue: Jewish Early Child Education Intents to submit requested by September 1, 2012. Manuscripts due by March 1, 2013. The importance of Jewish Early Childhood education is increasingly recognized throughout the Jewish community. There are more than 1,300 Jewish Early Childhood programs in the U.S. alone and in the past ten years, the number of national organizations in the U.S. addressing concerns of Jewish Early Childhood education has increased significantly. While some teacher education and curriculum development initiatives have focused on the 0-7 years age group, there is still much room to develop a shared knowledge base. The Journal of Jewish Education seeks to contribute to the development and dissemination of such a shared knowledge base. To that end, the Journal invites papers and articles that contribute to the evidence base through research and evaluation of the purposes and practices of Jewish Early Childhood education. Papers may address any area of Jewish Early Childhood education, including aspects of child development, family and relationships, curriculum, teacher education, history and philosophy of Jewish Early Childhood education, and the empirical analyses of practices. Successful papers will devote some space to successes and challenges within their focus as well as inviting the reader to consider an agenda for future research or inquiry. Manuscripts should be submitted according to the instructions for Authors available on line at the Journal of Jewish Education website: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/15244113.asp Specific questions regarding submissions should be directed to JournalofJEd@aol.com.
spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
Journal of Jewish Education Update SUE KITTNER HUNTTING
email@example.com ▶ Refuah Shleimah to Michael Zeldin, Senior Editor, who is recovering from surgery in February. ▶ The Journal hosted a dessert reception at the recent NATE Kallah in San Antonio, TX. It is our intention to host a reception at a different educators’ conference each year to promote the Journal and the Network. ▶ Later this year, we will publish an article by Jonathan Woocher that will be used as a springboard for a Journal “conversation” of both researchers and practitioners. ▶ Expect to see the work of Emerging Scholars highlighted in an upcoming issue.
NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS Two NYU Education and Jewish Studies MA students, JODIE HONIGMAN and REBECCA BIGMAN, have been selected for the Masters Concentration in Israel Education program at the iCenter. This program enables students from various graduate programs to study a common curriculum, gather for eight colloquium days, receive individual mentoring, and create their own learning experience in Israel." HELENA MILLER is the recipient of the 2012 Jewish Agency Max Fisher Prize for outstanding contribution to Jewish Education in the diaspora.
from the Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies at Stanford University
ARI Y KELMAN | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies launched this year to much excitement and attention. Professor Ari Y. Kelman was appointed as the inaugural Jim Joseph Chair in Education and Jewish Studies, and he will lead the Concentration. The Concentration came to be thanks to the leadership and generosity of the Jim Joseph Foundation, and the foresight of the Stanford School of Education, both of which have demonstrated commitments to advancing scholarship in the field. Defined by Kelman's appointment, this year has been primarily about building the relationships and infrastructure necessary to support the training students. This has included marketing and outreach to prospective students, developing curriculum, admitting our first cohort, developing a research agenda for the Concentration, and meeting with faculty across the campus whose interests intersect with Education and Jewish Studies. This year saw 12 applicants to the Concentration, and the acceptance of an inaugural cohort of three Jim Joseph Fellows,
who will be starting at Stanford in the fall of 2012. Fully integrated within the School of Education and developed in partnership with the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, the Concentration aims to draw on the rich resources of the Stanford faculty in order to generate enriching and provocative interdisciplinary conversations. As a result, our curriculum is taking shape around questions of how people learn to be Jewish, in all of its manifestations. Consequently, the Concentration is committed to employing a comparative framework, putting questions of Jewish education in conversation with parallel lines of scholarly inquiry in fields like religious studies and ethnic studies. The 2011-2012 academic year has been one of exciting opportunities and beginnings which we hope will translate into a bright future for our students, for the Concentration, for Stanford University and for scholarship at the intersection of Education and Jewish Studies.
from Yeshiva University – Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration
SUSAN ROSENBERG | email@example.com
Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration is proud to announce new Master’s programs. This past fall, Azrieli introduced an Accelerated Master’s Program in Jewish Education. The program, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, intends to attract talented educators to the field of Jewish education. The one year, full time program balances intensive course study alongside practical teaching experience in Jewish Day School classrooms. Ten dynamic students were selected to proceed through the program together as a cohort, enriching one another by sharing their knowledge and learning experiences. Applications are currently being accepted for the second cohort to begin fall, 2012. Azrieli Graduate School continues to expand program offerings and was recently approved by the New York State Education Department to offer two new Master’s degrees leading to New York State teaching certification. Students who hold an initial certification in Childhood Education 1-6 can now enroll at Azrieli in the 36-credit Advanced Childhood Education 1-6 spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
program leading to NYS professional teacher certification. Students who wish to teach at the middle/high school level can enroll in a 42 credit Adolescence Education program leading to initial/professional certification in grades 7-12 biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, social studies, English and Hebrew. Both certification programs will begin in the fall, 2012. Detailed information on all Azrieli Master’s programs and the online application can be accessed at: http://yu.edu/azrieli/
FIND US ON FACEBOOK! The Network for Research in Jewish Education has an active Facebook group with over 160 members. The page includes job announcements and information about research scholarships. Find the group on Facebook to join, or contact Sara Shapiro-Plevan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE MANDEL CENTER FOR STUDIES IN JEWISH EDUCATION AT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
SUSANNE SHAVELSON | email@example.com
Teachers as Learners, SHARON FEIMAN-NEMSER’S new book, with a foreword by Deborah Ball, is just out from Harvard Education Press. In this collection of essays, Sharon argues for teacher learning as a necessary condition for ambitious student learning. She will also have an article by on new teacher induction called “Beyond Solo Teaching” in the May issue of Educational Leadership. We’re pleased to announce JON LEVISOHN’S promotion to associate professor of Jewish education, with tenure. He has recently published “Becoming a Servant: What James Kugel's Concept of Avodat Hashem Can Teach Us About the Dispositional Goals of Jewish Service-Learning,” in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service, and “Rethinking the Education of Cultural Minorities to and from Assimilation: A Perspective from Jewish Education,” in Diaspora and Indigenous Minority Education (DIME).
ERAN TAMIR, director of the Delet Longitudinal Survey and the Choosing to Teach study is serving on the Academic Oversight Committee for the Jewish Survey Question Bank (JSQB), a new project of the Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner, and funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation. Eran’s recent article, “How to Fix Our Approach to Evaluation Research in Jewish Education--and Why We Need To,” appeared on eJewishphilanthropy.com and on the Mandel Center’s blog. (blogs.brandeis.edu/mandeljewished). Leaders from the newly re-named Teacher Learning Project (formerly the Induction Partnership Project), with partner school Frankel Jewish Academy, presented at the National Association of Jewish Day Schools annual conference on making schools strong sites for teacher learning. Project codirectors SARAH BIRKELAND and VIVIAN TROEN also presented their work at the New Teacher Center Symposium in February. The project has an article about its Continuum of Standards for Comprehensive, School-Based Induction coming out in the journal The New Educator this spring.
ORIT KENT and ALLISON COOK have posted a working paper that explores the conceptual findings of a design experiment they conducted at the Kesher supplementary school. The Beit Midrash Research Project recently published an on-line webcase for educators, based on a design experiment in a 3rd grade classroom that used havruta learning and text study as a way to teach and foster Jewish values in the classroom. The webcase can be found at brandeis.edu/mandel/projects/ beitmidrashresearch/jewishvaluesandhavruta.html.
spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
The Beit Midrash Research Project hosted a group of day school Judaic studies educators for a two-day retreat to explore text study and havruta learning in their classrooms. This retreat was organized by the Pardes Educators Alumni Support Project and is part of a year-long professional development project coordinated by Pardes and developed and taught by Orit and Allison. Orit and Allison also consulted with Hadar students and the Hadar education fellows to introduce them to frameworks to support their text learning and their work in day school classrooms. Orit presented at the North American Day School Conference in Atlanta on “Havruta as a 21st Century Mode of Learning.”
News from the Davidson School OFRA BACKENROTH | firstname.lastname@example.org
he Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the Jewish Community Center Association are pleased to announce the launch of the Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute (JELI), an online and in-person leadership and professional development program specifically designed for JCC professionals. The fellowship program, supported by generous funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation, is the result of collaborative efforts among the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary, and JCC Association's Department of Professional Development and Mandel Center for Jewish Education. The JELI program is designed as an in-service program for middle- and senior-management professionals in Jewish Community Centers throughout North America, and will launch in March 2012. The initial cohort of 20 fellows will learn to apply Jewish frameworks—including values, ethics, texts, and traditions—to setting their organizations' vision, executing day-to-day management, and developing their own leadership identities. JELI's primary goal is to enhance the personal growth, Jewish leadership abilities, and professional skill sets of talented emerging leaders working in settings that nurture Jewish experiential education programs. Full Release Link:http://www.jtsa.edu/x16439.xml
Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) RAFI CASHMAN and FRAYDA GONSHOR COHEN email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
t last year’s NRJE conference in Toronto, and in the last issue of the NRJE newsletter, Lee Shulman, Susan Kardos and Renee Rubin Ross shared news about the founding of the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE), a new initiative housed at Stanford University, with support from the AVI CHAI and Jim Joseph Foundations. We are very excited to participate in the pilot phase of CASJE, and to report on its first activities. As both practitioners and graduate students in education, being part of the Project Management Team of CASJE has been a thrilling experience. In our own work and studies we are very aware of how research and practice, which should ideally have a symbiotic relationship, often function in a siloed manner in the field of Jewish education. Researchers too often do not ask the questions to which practitioners seek answers, nor do they make their findings useful to real issues of practice. Practitioners’ innovations are often accompanied by poor descriptions and evaluations, making it difficult to learn best practices across the field. What’s more, without the ‘right’ kind of information, funders with an interest in Jewish education do not possess the best data about the ‘right’ kind of programs to be supported, or how to gauge success. We feel this disconnect all too much when we walk between the classroom and the academy, and so we are all the more excited by the work of CASJE, which aims to bring together practitioners, funders, and researchers to develop a more robust knowledge base for Jewish education. CASJE’s first major activity has been to launch two panels whose work re-imagines the relationships between funders, practitioners and researchers. The first is focuses on the content rich area of Israel Education, and led by Alex Pomson (Hebrew University) and Mitch Malkus (Pressman Academy). The second panel is on the cross-cutting field of Jewish Educational Leadership, led by Ellen Goldring (Vanderbilt University) and Joe Reimer (Brandeis University). Each panel is tasked with developing a research agenda, including 3-5 important research questions and related programs of research that will help build the evidence base for its particular topic area. While each panel is composed of highly regarded individuals in the field, be they practitioners, funders or researchers, NRJE members have taken leading roles as they begin to deliberate the panel’s core questions. From Joe Reimer and Alex Pomson who are acting as panel co-chairs, to Renee Rubin Ross who is one of the Jim Joseph Foundation’s representatives, and along with many panel members such as Sharon Feiman-Nemser, spring 2012 >>> the network for research in jewish education
Scott Goldberg, Bethamie Horowitz, Meredith Katz, Wendy Rosov, Michael Zeldin, Susan Kardos, Lee Shulman (and many more!), the NRJE is very well represented. Bringing these groups together for deliberation might be considered a feat on its own, but in addition to their individual expertise, each of these panelists is recognized as a central node in their larger networks. The panel process intentionally leverages the power of these networks by regularly reaching out to them for input and feedback on the developing agenda for research. As an example: before the Israel Education launch, each panel member reached out to a small group of educators in their own personal and professional networks to submit what they understood to be the highest impact questions for Israel education. At a later point in the panel process, panel members will be conducting focus groups consisting of intentionally chosen members in the Israel Education field to give critical feedback about a distilled number of these highimpact questions. So, in its core activities CASJE is increasing the quality and potential impact of research in the field, while simultaneously building and strengthening the networks between and among the researchers, practitioners and funders who dedicate themselves to this work. This kind of process not only calls for a new relationship between researchers, practitioners and funders, but it also begins to develop networks between and among people in the field who have previously been disconnected. We hope that you will reach out to us and engage in this process, be it as a future panel participant, informed critic, listener, or supporter. Please follow up with CASJE directly at www.casje.com, where you can learn more about the Consortium, find ways to be involved, as well as follow the work it will begin to produce. We value your being in touch so we can learn about how reach out to you as CASJE’s work unfolds, and through doing so build a stronger, more connected network of participants in Jewish education. <7>