Around the Jewish Web

Three stories, three countries…

from Haaretz:

Zionism just ain’t what it used to be

Picture this: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who in recent years has caused headlines mainly by issuing inflammatory rulings and statements against Arabs and Reform Jews, invited to bestow his blessing, wearing his turban and brocade gown, on the staid and civilized proceedings of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem.

from The Jewish Chronicle:

Saving our lost Jewish communities in the UK

Aliyah and marrying-out are shrinking once-thriving populations. Some now face a struggle to survive.

“If communities of a couple of thousand have difficulty making a minyan, then 500 will find it more difficult and when you get to 50 you’re asking 20 per cent of the community to turn up. Mainstream communities don’t give enough thought to things like that.”

from The Jewish Week:

Educators Going Viral

Conference organizers usually frown on participants who Facebook, Tweet or Google during a seminar, but no one objected when some of the 14 participants in a new fellowship program for Jewish educators did just that during a lively lecture.

Hand-picked for their expertise as educators and their eagerness to utilize Web technology in their work, the participants – the first batch of fellows in the new Jim Joseph Foundation Fellowship Program directed by the Lookstein Center at Bar-Ilan University – are actually being encouraged to get online in the name of education.

The goal of the two-year fellowship is to give these veteran educators the tools needed to develop and maintain virtual (online) communities of educators in their particular fields of Jewish education. These communities, known as “Communities of Practice,” or COPs, will facilitate communication over long distances and enable educators to jointly work on long-term projects regardless of their locations.

… Nechemia Ichilov, Lower & Middle School Head of the Jess Schwartz Community Day School in Scottsdale, Ariz., believes that the fellowship program didn’t come a moment too soon.

“I’ve always been a believer that education has not kept up with the world around us. The marriage of resources between the Lookstein Center, which has always been associated with the technological revolution, and the Jim Joseph Foundation was an opportunity not to be missed.”

Ichilov would like to create a COP to “cultivate professional leadership” that would help prepare assistant heads of school and others potentially capable of assuming top educational positions.

Ichilov’s COP would focus on improving “skill sets” such as fund-raising and strategic planning.