HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal
From the Editor
Faith is the raison d’etre of Jewish community day schools and high schools. It is what distinguishes us from our colleagues at NAIS, public schools, and charter schools. At the same time, discussions of faith often make us profoundly uncomfortable, precisely because we are community schools, and our definitions of faith reflect the diversity of thought repeatedly captured in our humorous stories about “two Jews, three opinions” and the island castaway who built two shuls, the one he attended and the one he wouldn’t set foot in.
But faith and, more importantly, religious purposefulness, lie at the very core of what we do. Making faith meaningful and purposeful is one of the greatest challenges we face in dealing with young hearts and minds. The articles in this issue address this challenge in many ways, from the conceptual to the pragmatic. The authors themselves, as teachers and leaders, wrestle with the same issues that their students and followers encounter: how to reconcile faith and critical thinking, how to nurture belief, how to accommodate divergent ideas and practices—all within the context of what is developmentally appropriate, particularly with our increased awareness of the unique aspects of adolescence. That we engage with these questions dispassionately and with insights gained from other fields is entirely consistent with our Jewish faith and traditions. As Edmond Fleg wrote, “I am a Jew because the faith of Israel demands of me no abdication of the mind.”
We hope that you will find this issue of HaYidion valuable and applicable to your work. Faith is a complex and difficult subject because, as Will Herberg wrote in Judaism and Modern Man, the beliefs which a person holds “are not necessarily those he affirms with his mouth, but those that are operative in his life.” We hope you will find, in our authors’ words, inspiration to make faith an ever more vital and significant part of your students’ lives. ♦
Dr. Barbara Davis is the Secretary of RAVSAK, Executive Editor of HaYidion and Head of School at the Syracuse Hebrew Day School in Dewitt, NY. Barbara can be reached at email@example.com.
Go To the Next Article
How can Jewish educational leaders reach teens who are often distrustful of institutionalized religion and highly......
Faith is the most elusive quality to inculcate, the hardest to measure. Yet at some level, everything Jewish day schools seek to achieve depends upon it. The sense of belonging and connection that is fundamental to Jewish identity resides, at heart, in a sense of emunah, of trust and belief in something larger than ourselves. This issue considers factors that nourish Jewish faith of different kinds.
Click here to download the PDF and printer friendly version of this issue of HaYidion