Beyond the Melting Pot: Finding a Voice for Jewish Identity in Multicultural American Schools

By Adam R. Gaynor

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), Spring 2011

For the better part of a century, integration has characterized the Jewish experience in America, but modern Jewish education struggles to reverse that trend by separating Jewish youth from their non-Jewish peers and herding them into the walls of our communal institutions. This model ignores a particularly acute demographic reality: Most American Jews no longer affiliate with the communal institutions in which Jewish learning takes place. Consequently, this article posits that the key to providing high-quality Jewish education with the majority of Jewish students, who do not access Jewish learning or intensive Jewish experiences, is to reach them in the multicultural environments in which they live and learn daily. More specifically, I argue that we need to create, support, and replicate programs that are integrated elements of school communities, the places in which Jewish kids and young adults spend the majority of their time.

Topic: Programming, Curriculum, Culture, Schools, Jewish Content, Education, Multiculturalism, Higher Education, Affiliation

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Naron Chalew, Gail

Volume/Issue: Vol.86/No.1/2

Page Number(s): 174-183

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Genre: Article

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Gaynor, Adam R. Beyond the Melting Pot: Finding a Voice for Jewish Identity in Multicultural American Schools. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Spring 2011: 174-183. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=13788


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