The Lippman Kanfer Institute works with educators, volunteer leaders, organizations, and communities to redesign Jewish education for the 21st century, pinpointing ideas, tools, and methods that will keep Jewish education relevant and effective in a time of rapid and far-reaching change. As part of this work, the Institute seeks out innovators who are moving Jewish learning in new directions and shares their ideas and achievements with the field at large. Today, many of these innovators are expanding the scope of Jewish education to address the learner as a whole person and to bring Jewish learning and personal development together in a powerful synthesis.
Core Principles of Whole Person Learning
This kind of Jewish learning – whole person or holistic learning – is grounded in a few core principles:
- every learner is unique and important,
- all learning is built on relationships, and
- Jewish learning is meant to enrich and inform the totality of our persons and our lives.
Whole person learning approaches each learner individually. Practitioners look at each child and provide learning that helps them develop personally, in relationship with others, and as a member of society. Holistic education engages the mind, heart, soul and sense of being for each learner.
In This Publication
Happily, a growing number of programs and institutions in Jewish education are, in different ways, putting this approach into action today. This web publication is designed to shine a spotlight on this growing and important movement in Jewish education. It profiles several noteworthy programs drawn from different segments of the Jewish educational landscape, including interviews with program leaders and materials that illustrate how the programs operate. The publication also includes a short primer on holistic learning, including how whole person learning relates to the field of education and Jewish education specifically, notes on some different philosophies that contribute to holistic education, and a list of resources for further learning and direct application.
We invite you to share your own experiences and thoughts about holistic Jewish learning by participating on the whole person learning discussion pages.
Thank you to Dr. Jeffrey Kress of The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Cyd Weissman of The Jewish Education Project for their editing assistance on this web publication.
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