Back to School
Jewish Day School in the Lives of Adult Jews
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Wayne State University Press
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Jewish life in North America has been transformed in recent decades by massive shifts in outlook and behavior. Where once it was possible to identify a set of common assumptions among most Jews about the nature of their religious and ethnic identities...
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This was supposed to be a book about teachers, but it has ended up as one about parents. Parents, we have come to learn, constitute the great unexplored frontier for Jewish day-school education. Such a profound reorientation of interests bears witness to a...
Introduction: Why Study Day-School Parents?
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There is something unsettling about the frequent bipolar depiction of the relationship between parents and schools. More often than not, the two parties are portrayed as “adversaries or advocates,” as “partners or protagonists,” or as “enemies or allies...
1. A School Downtown: The Ethnographic Context for the Study
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If you stand at the intersection of Toronto’s Bloor and Spadina streets you can imagine yourself in any number of North American cities. A short distance away, glass-plated office towers, owned by banks and multinational companies, dominate the skyline. A few...
2. The Winding Road to School: Why and How Parents Choose DJDS
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Scholars and commentators have interpreted the emerging popularity of schools like DJDS that serve a religiously liberal Jewish population as evidence of a sharp deterioration in the quality of public education, or at least as reflecting a perception of deterioration...
3. What Are Parents Doing at School? Framing the Interactions between Parents and Their Children’s Schools
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The ambivalence, investment, and anxiety that parents display before selecting DJDS for their children is no less evident in their involvements with the school after their children are enrolled. It is to these involvements, their meaning, and their multiple consequences...
4. The School as Shul: Jewish Day Schools as Places of Worship, Study, and Assembly, for Parents
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As we discussed in the last chapter, the symbolic frame refers to that social realm within which culture is built. It is where, through ritual, ceremony, and story, groups, organizations, and societies find shared purpose and meaning...
5. The School at Home: Private Encounters between Parents and Their Children’s School
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The interaction between parents and schools occurs in two locations: at school itself, where parents come into direct contact with school life, and, less obviously, at home, where, through the mediation of their own children, parents encounter information, ideas, and practices that might not...
6. Beyond Downtown to the Suburbs: Testing the Limits of the DJDS Case
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Taken together, the findings presented in chapters 2–5 reveal that, for many if not most parents at DJDS, choosing and sending their child to a Jewish day school possesses significance for their own lives as Jewish adults. In each of the last four chapters we found and described evidence...
Conclusion: Learning from What’s Downtown
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Almost all adults have been to school at some time in their lives. Some, as we have seen, seem to seize the opportunity to go to school again. A review of the popular media and Internet postings suggests...
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2008
Volume Title: N/a