HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal


A Word from the Editor

by Dr. Barbara Davis Issue: Too Jewish? Not Jewish Enough?

Once again, RAVSAK places in your hands an issue that will have both immediate and long-term value. Day school culture is the subject of this Shavuot issue of HaYidion. All of us struggle with the issues of school culture – of being “too Jewish” or “not Jewish enough.” As one head of school humorously commented at our January conference, “I have people on the left mad at me and I have people on the right mad at me. I figure I must be doing something correctly.” Levity aside, the articles in this issue deal with the theme of how our schools “feel” to their constituent communities. Michael Steinhardt’s article is sure to provoke thought and response. The “triage” survey will prove intriguing and stimulating. The articles on creating links, using Hebrew and rethinking and repackaging our product will be of use both to heads of schools and to boards. Shavuot is a holiday that has evolved from an agricultural festival to that that celebrates study and commitment to the tenets of Judaism. Its pivotal figure, Ruth, is a convert. The many facets of this holiday are reflected in the papers presented in HaYidion this quarter. We hope you will enjoy them and benefit from them not only now but in the future.

Dr. Barbara Davis is the Secretary of RAVSAK, Editor of HaYidion and Head of School at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in Dewitt, NY. Barbara can be reached at shds@twcny.rr.com.

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Israel in RAVSAK Schools

Editor’s Note: No discussion about the Jewish character of a community day school would be complete without......

Too Jewish? Not Jewish Enough?

At some point, most day schools find themselves confronted with the question, Are we too Jewish? If we confine Jewish studies to fewer hours in the school day, will more students come? Authors here agree that the “Jewish” part of the school’s mission and identity should be proudly front and center in defining a day school’s raison d’etre.

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