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Jewish Education

The Nerd Herd

If there’s one thing that characterized my formal Jewish education, it would have to be my profound dislike of it. Though I’ve always felt deeply connected to my Judaism, both culturally and religiously, organized religious school was extremely difficult for me. 

Moving Past My Passivity

I was a relatively passive preteen. I was stuck in this mentality that my life wasn’t really going to start until I was older, that everything until then was just filler. Looking back at it now, I can acknowledge the internalized adultism that clouded my perception of the world, but am still regretful of this period of stagnation in my life. 

Belda Lindenbaum, 1938 - 2015

It was her determination to keep one foot firmly in traditional Judaism and the other in feminist ideals of inclusion that made her a model for so many of us.

Walking Contradiction

“Judaism and feminism? Aren’t those contradictory?” an elderly Jewish man  remarked to me and fellow blogger Caroline as we left a Saturday morning minyan.

“You’d be surprised,” Caroline tactfully responded.

As he walked away, we turned and looked at each other incredulously. How many people believe that the two are uncombinable?

The Balancing Act

I was raised in a modern orthodox household. I went to a private Jewish preschool, then a private Jewish elementary school, and then a private Jewish middle school. But when I reached high school, my family and I made the decision to go to public school. It was a brand new social and educational experience, and almost all of the changes I went through were positive. However, I lost the daily Hebrew and Judaics I’d had my whole life, and I realized how you can get very distant very quickly from your Judaism. 

Sara Stone

Sara Stone was ninety years old at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and her experience of the storm was tempered by a lifetime of helping the city weather hard times.

Lonnie Zarum Schaffer

When leadership squabbles threatened to shut down her synagogue after Katrina, Lonnie Zarum Schaffer stepped up and turned the disaster into an opportunity for change and growth.

Bluma Rivkin

Bluma Rivkin’s experiences of the devastation of Katrina and the struggles to rebuild were profoundly shaped by her humor, her compassion, and her work as a shlucha (Chabad emissary).

Lonnie Zarum Schaffer

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Lonnie Zarum Schaffer stepped up to lead her struggling Modern Orthodox synagogue, Anshe Sfard, rebuild themselves even better than before.

Bluma Rivkin

Accustomed as a shlucha (Chabad emissary) to helping those in her community, Bluma Rivkin went into action after Hurricane Katrina, first with the pressing concerns of finding housing and aid for evacuees, then with the larger task of rebuilding the community.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Education." (Viewed on December 14, 2018) <https://jwa.org/topics/jewish-education>.

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