Debunking the ‘Myth of the Cultural Jew’

Myth of the Cultural JewBy Richard D. Zelin

From time immemorial, Jews have been concerned with the question of Jewish survival. Much ink has been spilled about the demise of Judaism and the Jewish community, although the tradition has remarkably had enormous staying power. But in recent years, especially since the 1990 National Jewish Population Study and the more recent Pew Research Center study on American Jewry (2013), the issue of Jewish continuity – if not survival – has taken on much greater urgency.

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Dropping the God Standard: Another 800 Pound Gorilla in the discourse about Judaism and Jewish Education

By David J. Steiner

The Judaism that we inherited started in a coffin. Had Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai not been smuggled out of Jerusalem pretending to be dead, to sue for peace and ask for Yavne to create a new academy for our scholars, we would most likely not have the religion we have today. However, were Yochanan to visit a synagogue of any of our modern denominations, the great likelihood is that he would not recognize our practices as the fruit of his efforts. [Continue reading]

Some Needed R & R: The Power of Relationships and Reflection in Cultivating Experiential Jewish Educators

By Mark S. Young and Dr. Jeff Kress There is a unique intersection between experiential Jewish education (EJE) and developing the human resources of our Jewish educational workforce. For the last five years, this intersection has been at the heart … [Continue reading]