24 February 2010

What Do We Know about What We Know?

In Tzeh Ulimad (Hebrew Union College's Blog of Continuing Jewish Learning), my classmate and friend, Scott Aaron challenges us to stop and think about what we know about Jewish education - and more importantly, how we judge what we know - before we evaluate how (badly) we are doing. Rabbi Aaron's article is here and my comment, if not yet published, is reprinted below:

Dear Scott,

First of all, yashar koach. I am challenged by the points that you bring up. In our religious school (admittedly pediatric), we have examined what we imagine success to be. In short, that our students will possess, if not all the knowledge, the desire, ability, and tools to (re)discover that knowledge, and a comfortability with the search. With our adults, we are seeking a similar goal. As I just expressed to our new Eitz Chayim (Lifelong Learning) chair, it is my dream that – in the long-run – our congregants will realize that to be a good (Reform) Jew, one must be self-reflective and, to be self-reflective, one must engage in continual study.

You raise the interesting questions, Scott. To paraphrase the Haggadah, when do you begin to answer?


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