Educational Approach to Jewish Life

This curriculum identifies five approaches that provide a foundation for the students’ learning:

  1. Studying Jewish Texts and Values
    Jewish texts and values provide an important framework for exploring ethical and political concepts, and they can help young Jews wrestle with their relationship to Judaism and Jewish identity. They can also help shape young Jews’ personal and communal responses to current events and contemporary political issues.
  2. Exploring Our Connections to Israel
    Studying Israel within the context of Jewish history helps students understand how the ideology of Zionism has shaped contemporary Jewish life, thought, and historical memory. When students grasp the perspectives of diverse Jews throughout history, they can better understand their own community and the politics that shape it. By engaging with the three distinct aspects of Israel—Am Yisrael(the People of Israel), Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), and Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel)—they can explore their connections to each.
  3. Nurturing Understanding, Respect, and Compassion for Both Jewish Israelis and Palestinians
    Given the complex history of Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the reality that the two peoples’ futures are inextricably linked, Jews should learn the stories of Israelis and Palestinians so that they can begin to understand the experiences, needs, and aspirations of both peoples, based on an orientation of respect and compassion.
  4. Deepening Jewish Communal Responsibility and Engagement
    All Jews have a place in the Jewish community, even if they express beliefs about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that fall outside the accepted discourse of the American Jewish community. If Jews who are critical of Israel become marginalized by the leaders of their communities, the entire community is narrowed and diminished.
  5. Inspiring a Commitment to Social Action
    Young Jews have a responsibility to participate in promoting peaceful resolutions to conflicts in their world, upholding human rights, and working for a more just society.