Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group.
A new era of education The great challenge of education is to examine existing paradigms and dream of new ones. In recent decades, traditional notions about where and how people learn have been re-examined, and new and sometimes unlikely milieus and modes are emerging as contexts for education.
The new settings join the traditional venues of education— elementary schools, secondary schools, and universities—as vibrant partners in the process of education, and sometimes they even challenge traditional hegemonies. An extensive literature describes youth movements, community centers, adult learning, and other vehicles for informal education across the globe, in Eastern Europe, Africa, England, and Latin America, as well as in the United States and Canada.
Informal education has been a factor in Jewish life for many decades. The network of camps, youth movements, and community centers is sizable.
We may well be in an era of the emergence of informal education as a seminal force in Jewish life. Informal Jewish education is usually juxtaposed with formal Jewish education. Throughout the ages, the Jewish community has devoted much energy to the establishment and maintenance of a rich educational network.
However, schools were not the only contexts in which Jewish education took place.
It included the neighborhood, the home, communal agencies, and the synagogue; celebrations and holidays, group experiences, mentors, and the daily and yearly calendar. These two worlds developed independently throughout the century, did not always communicate well with each other, and often operated with mutual misunderstanding and suspicion.
In this monograph we shall examine the meaning and promise of informal Jewish education for enhancing Jewish life. First, since a lot of what happens within schools is informal education—for example, sports, debating societies, language clubs, and yearbook—the distinction is not precise.
Second, defining informal education in this negative way does not help us to understand what it is. In order to be able to really understand informal education and use it effectively, we need to understand precisely what it is and how it works.
In fact, there have been surprisingly few attempts to carefully and patiently delineate the nature of informal Jewish education. Descriptions of informal educational programs abound, but efforts to confront informal Jewish education on an abstract and conceptual level are rare.
That is our task in this monograph: By looking at some prominent contemporary examples of informal Jewish education—among them, Jewish youth movements and organizations, camps ands retreats, Jewish family education, Internet sites, and pre-schools—we shall identify eight generic characteristics that define informal Jewish education as an individual-centered and highly interactive educational approach focused on learning through experience, with knowledgeable and committed educators who use group process and a "curriculum" of Jewish ideas and values to create a holistic educational culture.
Some of the eight characteristics are common to both general and Jewish informal education. As we will see, many attributes of informal Jewish education are also found in schools, in Jewish communal service, in various forms of therapy, and in life itself.
Naming a few of the Jewish and non-Jewish figures whose ideas have contributed to informal Jewish education will help us appreciate the wide-ranging influences upon this approach to learning.
A survey of common misperceptions about informal Jewish education rounds out our examination, enabling us to evaluate its promises for twenty-first century Jewish life and its limitations.
Some examples of informal Jewish education A look at some examples of informal Jewish education provides a clue as to what is truly at the core of this phenomenon. In Jewish youth movements and organizations, young Jews voluntarily participate in cultural, educational, ideological and social activities within a peer group context.
Youth movements encompass both ideological and associational dimensions, whereas youth organizations focus more on the latter.
The power of the peer group and culture is a striking dimension of youth movements and organizations. These leaders have the ability to excite and inspire their younger charges, and there is often a great sense of identification with them.
Youth movements frequently address topics that are immediate and of interest to young people. Jewish camps ands retreats are educational settings where Jews spend blocks of time with peers in a diverse range of activities, including education, sports, recreation, social pastimes,and Jewish living.
The Hebrew-speaking summer camp makes Hebrew language and culture come alive twenty-four hours a day. The bunk or camp as a whole often becomes a closely-knit community that is united by shared songs, experiences, activities, and memories.
In camps all elements of the schedule—waking up, sports, nature, evenings, meals, free time—can be co-opted for educational purposes. Finally, the experience of going to camp or to a retreat has, like the youth movement, an aura of great engagement and fun about it. Jewish Community Centers are multipurpose institutions established to provide a diversity of recreational, cultural, social, athletic, and Jewish and general educational activities for a broad cross-section of Jews.American modernism, much like the modernism movement in general, is a trend of philosophical thought arising from the widespread changes in culture and society in the age of leslutinsduphoenix.coman modernism is an artistic and cultural movement in the United States beginning at the turn of the 20th century, with a core period between World War I and World War II.
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