Jewish texts contain many values that provide rich material for learning how to live an ethical life. These values can help students formulate responses to current events, clarify what they believe, and apply those ideas to the world around them.
Jewish texts, however, are also full of contradictory messages. These texts were written by a range of rabbis and scholars who, living under different historical circumstances, held divergent ideas on how to live an ethical life. Jewish tradition contains many significant texts that advocate peace and justice, but it also contains texts that are chauvinistic and militaristic.
Despite the complexity of teaching Jewish values, Judaism can provide a compelling foundation from which to wrestle with important ideas. Values-based learning, especially when accompanied by self-reflection and critical thinking, grounds students in exploring the deeper meaning of actions and ideas and can provide them with a stronger sense of self.