Page 172 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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The Conservative movement has been in the fo re fron t o f ef­
forts on beha lf o f special education in the Jewish framework
and has sought to make materials available for the practitioner.
It has p repa red a set o f publications in a
Special Educator’s Kit,
which includes teacher and pa ren t manuals in addition to ma­
terials for the student.
Closely akin to the United Synagogue Commission is the Mel­
ton Research Cen ter und e r the auspices o f the Jewish T h eo ­
logical Seminary. From its inception, in 1960, it has sought to
stimulate Jewish scholars, curriculum writers and educators to
develop meaningful curriculum and classroom texts. An initial
Understanding Genesis,
included a book o f back­
g round material for the teacher, a
Teacher’s Guide,
a two-part
Student Guide
and an additional
Teacher’s Supplement.
T h e Cen ter
is aware o f the prom inence o f the text in Jewish education and
provides teachers with intensive training in how to use it suc­
cessfully in the classroom. During the past decade, the Melton
format has set a pa ttern for those who unders tand the im po r­
tance o f assisting the professional in the use o f the traditional
T h e O rthodox movement provides a varied if fragm en ted
approach to education. In 1943, Rabbi Leo Ju n g and Joseph
Kaminetsky p repared for the Union o f O rthodox Jewish Con­
gregations o f America
A Model Program for the Talmud Torah,
which was designed for the O rthodox supplementary school.
It was based on the premise that knowledge was to be gained
from recourse to the original texts, the Bible, Siddur, Mishnah,
Gemara and Midrash.
T h e day school is a prevalent form o f schooling for the O r­
thodox. To rah Umesorah (The National Foundation o f Hebrew
Day Schools) serves as its advocate and service bureau . It faced
a serious problem in its infancy when existence o f p rop e r tex t­
books for the traditional day schools was not in evidence. The
available supply consisted o f condensed texts which “lacked
much o f the beauty and emotional wealth o f the original.”14
Preparation o f school T o rah literature to guide children became
a priority o f T o rah Umesorah. It sponsored texts and work­
books in Bible, Jewish history and holidays. In 1946,
Elijah, The
14. Kramer, Daniel Zvi,
The Day School and Torah Umesorah,
Yeshiva University
Press, NY, 1984, p. 63.