HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal



Jewish law and practice mandate a society based on strict ethical standards and principles, tempered with great sensitivity to the complexity of real-life situations. This creation of the mentsch that emerges from these ethical practices resonates with many day school families. Jewish ethics offers day school leaders and students tools and approaches to confront daily challenges and dilemmas and guide decision making. 

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Ethics in Technology: A Challenge for Jewish Day Schools

by Jane Neubauer Sep 12, 2011

It has never been more important to use the word “like” with caution. Clicking a button bearing this word on a social media page can often lead to perceived indiscretions, whether intentional or not. Ethically, it’s mandatory to think twice before every click of the mouse is executed. This applies to students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community-at-large.

The Derekh Eretz Committee

by Judd Kruger Levingston Sep 12, 2011
RELATED TOPICS: School Policies

"Everybody put your heads down with your eyes closed. Raise your hand now if you have ever copied a homework assignment from a classmate.”

Negotiating Boundaries in a Jewish Community Day School

by Dean Goldfein Sep 12, 2011
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipPluralism

Independent school conferences and publications wisely stress the importance of drawing clear boundaries. But the interaction of stakeholders in a day school is rarely cut and dried. In real life, these lines frequently appear blurry, and heads of school are required to negotiate boundaries as they shift and are contested.

Ch/eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

by Jan Katzew Sep 12, 2011
RELATED TOPICS: StudentsSchool Policies

Why do we do things that we know are wrong? This question has plagued every ben Adam and bat Sarah, i.e., every human being, since our creation. “G-d now said, Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness; and let them hold sway over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over the beasts, over all the earth, over all that creeps upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Everything else except for a human being could be created by divine fiat, e.g., “Let there be light, and there was light” (1:4).

Removing Underperforming Teachers: Navigating Dilemmas and Challenges

by Barbara Gereboff Sep 12, 2011
RELATED TOPICS: LeadershipTeachers

In the best of worlds, no teacher would ever need to be let go. He or she would have undergone a rigorous vetting when hired and received high quality mentoring to become more effective. But sometimes neither of these strategies succeeds, and an administrator encounters perhaps the most unpleasant task in his or her portfolio. Because we work so diligently to make our schools “caring communities,” removing someone from it creates a difficult rupture in the system. Yet if we fail to remove some people, we are subjecting students to poor teaching and we place our schools in serious jeopardy. This article explores the ethical dimensions of this issue and some steps we should consider in minimizing the damage to our school and to the integrity of the teacher whose contract has not been renewed.