Thursday, March 30


"Daddy, the only thing I found out today is I don't want to be Jewish."

A Holocaust education experiment gone awry.
Click here...

Wednesday, March 29

Spiritualizing Halakhic Education

Spiritualizing Halakhic Education: A Case Study in Modern Orthodox Teacher Development, a new 80-page monograph published by the Mandel Foundation's Visions of Jewish Education project, reports on an experiment in using the thought of Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky as a resource for improving Modern Orthodox Jewish education. It is based on a seminar in professional development undertaken in 2002-03 through ATID in Jerusalem.

Authored by ATID's director, Rabbi Jeffrey Saks, the publication is available on request (or as a PDF download) from the Foundation's VJEP office. Click here...

Tuesday, March 28

Good Mussar

A short mussar movie.
Get your priorities straight.
Click here...

Sunday, March 26

That's the News

Online, daily, video summary of Israeli TV News in English -- especially interesting for upcoming elections.
Click here.

Wednesday, March 22

Barbie & Jewish identity

Jewish identity, Diaspora, Zionism, etc., as seen through the eyes of Barbie.
A film from the Sundance Film Festival.
Click here.

Monday, March 20

ATID Fellows

Click here.

Sunday, March 19


Mo Woman draws our attention to the Wiki-zation of the online Jewish Encyclopedia.
Click here.

The Wikipedia has an ever-growing Hebrew presence (Yiddish as well!).

Friday, March 17

Tradition Online

Tradition--the important journal of ideas for Modern Orthodoxy--has a new editor, a new look, and (finally) a website.

Click here.

Thursday, March 16

Rav Kook on Education

YU Torah Online has a fascinating lecturefrom Dr. David Shatz on Rav Kook's meaning for Torah education, and what Torah education should have to say about Rav Kook (how to incorporate his thought into the curriculum).
Click here for MP3 download.

Tuesday, March 14

Shpiel Rights

The great Rav Yosef Blau, YU's mashgiach ruchani, once commented: "The only thing worse than being made fun of in the Purim-Shpiel is not being made fun of in the Purim-Shpiel."

In a democracy, the philosopher Ronald Dworkin argues, no one, powerful or impotent, can have a right not to be ridiculed or offended...

Click here.

Monday, March 13

Rav Moshe zt"l

On the twentienth yahretzeit (13 Adar II 5746) of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l, let us take a few moments to remember his true legacy.

Some links:
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 -5

Sunday, March 12

No #2 Pencils

100 years ago the College Boards began with essay questions in physics, history, Latin, you name it--just no multiple choice questions, please! In the process they set a high national standard.
Today, thecurrent regime of testing is aimed at raising the test scores of students who are performing poorly. It is an entirely skills-based approach, geared toward using the threat of federal sanctions to raise a low common denominator. It leaves out subjects like history, civics, literature, the arts, foreign languages-- and advanced courses in every subject.
As a result, we have a dumbed-down definition of proficiency.
Click here for more from CoHE's special "School & College" report.

Friday, March 10

Purim Cowboys

In 1959 Rav Haim Sabato was an oleh chadash in second-grade, with a soggy cowboy hat made of paper as his meager costume.
He did have one thing going for him though. He had a special teacher.
Click here...

Tuesday, March 7

Tuition Crisis

YU and the OU hope to tackle the tuition crisis.
Click here.

Monday, March 6

Tomorrow's Notebook

Understanding the frustration and inability of many students today not knowing how to organize and summarize teachers’ instruction during class, two graduates of the ATID Fellows, Michelle Berkowitz and Dena Lehrman, designed a notebook in which students can develop note taking, summarizing and study skills--engaging both student and teacher in a combined effort towards a more independent and successful student.

Click here...

Sunday, March 5

From Within the Fire

Read two evaluation chapters of the outstanding Lehava program run at the Amit Noga High School, in cooperation with ATID's Beit Midrash Initiative -- essential reading for schools interesting in learning how to successfully design and implement a Beit Midrash experience. Authored by program director Mrs. Miriam Reisler and ATID's senior staff, the two evaluations offer insight into the successes of a most remarkable educational experiment.

Friday, March 3

ATUDA Teaching Guides

In 5765 ATID gathered a cohort of outstanding young men and women preparing for careers in Jewish education for the inaugural ATUDA Fellows program. ATUDA Fellows studied and analyzed texts written by and about Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt"l, and prepared teaching guides, position papers, and pedagogies to wrestle with the application of the Rav's teachings to the contemporary classroom. We are proud to make these 11 teaching guides for bringing Rabbi Soloveitchik's Torah into the classroom available to the community of Jewish educators.

Click here...

Thursday, March 2

What Rava Wore

"There is a well-known jibe attributed to the yeshiva world and directed against those involved in the academic study of Talmud. 'We (Yeshivahleit) wish to know what Abbaye and Rava said, but they (the academics) want to know what they wore.' Now it is clear that anyone who devotes himself exclusively to the externals of talmudic literature, such as historical background, philology and linguistic characteristics of Babylonian Aramaic, and so forth, will be missing the main point of learning. But, on the other hand, those who believe they are involved in real learning, but lack certain systematic disciplines, often miss the point of the sugya, and may even err when attempting to derive from it a psak halakha. In terms of the jibe, at times it is indeed important to know also what Abbaye and Rava wore."

Prof. Daniel Sperber's expanded (and illustrated) analysis of the place and purpose of academic Talmud study: click here...

Wednesday, March 1

Rabbi Fink Online

The inimitable Rabbi David Fink has a number of audio shiurim and mareh mekomot sheets for an array of halakhic topics online.
Includes: muktza and children's toys, exercise on Shabbat, disposable cups for kiddush, nature of bediavad, and more.

Click here.