The Week That Was: July 29-August 4

What makes Chabad tick and the cooperation between Haredi and secular in Israel’s employment market were just two of our top stories last week.

Here – in alphabetical order – are the top five:

A Manifesto of Jewish Education
by Aryeh Ben David

We’ve hit a wall in our delivery of Jewish Education. We have made great strides in teaching basic Jewish literacy – in explaining Jewish texts, educating the mind and disseminating information. Jewish educators have excelled at this during the last 25 years.

But preserving the past will not get us to a better future.

Avodah and Avodat Hashem in Israel
by Dr. Ruth Westheimer

When we hear the loud, angry political battle regarding the ultra-Orthodox (“Haredim”) in Israeli society, it is hard to square it with the calm, hand-in-hand cooperation that is developing between Haredi men and women and the secular employment market. I returned this summer from Israel where Haredi men and women opened their hearts and their homes to me and showed me how common sense can win over demagoguery.

Headcovering Confusion at Ramah Darom
by Rabbi Elyssa Joy Auster

When we were standing in archery class, I asked the fourteen year old girls why they don’t wear kippot. During morning prayers, or other religious events, and in the mess hall, all boys are required to wear kippot at Ramah Darom, the Conservative movement’s southern camp campus. After all, I have never met a female Conservative rabbi who doesn’t wear one during religious events.

The Redemption of Hebrew School
by Paul Steinberg

In the hierarchy of devalued occupations, Hebrew school is a top contender. It is a lot of hard work with little evidence of success and even less thanks. There is actually a Facebook page that captures what many think: “I HATE HEBREW SCHOOL” (caps theirs). Thankfully, it had only 82 ‘likes’ at my last visit. How can we overcome this tragic dilemma, whereby synagogues deploy precious resources toward Hebrew school, often to little avail? Can we redeem Hebrew school?

Unpacking Chabad: Their Ten Core Elements for Success
by Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.

In analyzing their mission, structure, and program, I have identified ten operational principles that seem to define the core elements of Chabad’s impact and success.