Jewish Issues

Where does your community live and thrive?

Where does your community live and thrive?

As most of Europe notes – either celebratorily or ruefully – the 500th anniversary of the birth of Christian Protestantism with Martin Luther’s proclamation of his challenges to Catholic doctrine and practice, it might be interesting to consider how this seismic event in European history has impacted on the Jews. Without doubt, we are still feeling the effect. Of course, I couldn’t possibly cover the whole subject, but in this [...]

Why We Don´t Want ‘Strong Jewish Identities’

Why We Don´t Want ‘Strong Jewish Identities’

Imagine, if you will, Jewish educational hopes in the 1950s and 60s. Back then, the Jewish world – unconsciously, no one talked about it – was still reeling from the Shoah. Israel was uncontroversial but hardly easily accessible and a bit of an esoteric interest to many Jews. We kind of knew we couldn’t go on as we had but no-one much had any idea as to what to do [...]

Expressing myself without fear

Expressing myself without fear

One of the differences between freedom and slavery is marked by the ability to express oneself without fear. Saying what you want. Screaming or keeping quiet. Learning freedom to exercise it, discovering the power of the word contained in the message. It is no coincidence that some like to divide the name of the holiday to read pe – sach –the mouth that speaks-. As we must make use of [...]

In education less is more. Some lessons from a trip to Helsinki.

In education less is more. Some lessons from a trip to Helsinki.

Change is in the air for European Jewish schools, particularly when a group of 30 principals from across Europe gathers in Helsinki to learn firsthand about what is ostensibly the best educational system in the world. The mission was organized by the European Council of Jewish Communities and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, hosted by the Jewish Community of Helsinki and participants came from the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, [...]

Contradictions Mark Views on Jewish Future in Europe, Survey Says

Contradictions Mark Views on Jewish Future in Europe, Survey Says

With fresh debate on the future of Europe’s Jews once again in the news, an opinion survey of European Jewish leaders on their current status and future reveals a mix of apprehension and optimism present in the community. These leaders – who together with their fellow Jews face a surge of anti-Semitism, rising nationalism, terrorism, and economic uncertainty – were surveyed in the “Third Survey of European Jewish Leaders and [...]

After the Paris attacks: Fly, Fight, Hide or Strive?

After the Paris attacks: Fly, Fight, Hide or Strive?

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European Jewish Educators Take Stock, Plan for the Future

European Jewish Educators Take Stock, Plan for the Future

At a time when various crises roil Europe, the theme of this year’s Arachim Conference, “Challenges and Solutions,” was markedly resonant among the continent’s Jewish educators who gathered in Warsaw for the annual confab. More than 80 Jewish school principals and educators representing 20 European countries traveled to the Polish capital for Arachim’s seventh biannual conference, dedicated this year to exploring difficulties facing Jewish schools and forging solutions from a [...]

Jewish Education for Today´s Secular Age

Jewish Education for Today´s Secular Age

The vast majority of Jews in Europe—and in many non-European countries worldwide—are what demographers call Cultural Jews. This is not a value statement of any kind; it is merely a statistical fact. Most of these Jews do not practice Halacha most or even some of the time. That they are the majority in Israel, the U.S., and Europe, is a fact supported by every major demographic study since the year [...]

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