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Gates Quest Vision

Our conception of Jewish education goes beyond the mere acquisition of factual knowledge. Equally important, are tasks of understanding, evaluating, and relating to Jewish issues for the sake of the individual and the community. The essential elements of Judaism, such as those articulated in this framework, are open to a range of interpretations. Children need to be inducted into skills, values, attitudes, and practices that enable them to make meaning of contemporary Jewish life.

Our vision of Jewish education is to enable Jewish youth, and ultimately Jews of all ages, to understand and appreciate the core ideas, values, and practices of Judaism, so that these ideas, values, and practices may serve as resources in their lives as Jews, Americans, and human beings. They should be able to articulate the ways in which they belong to the Jewish civilization and community while recognizing that these points of connection will likely evolve, grow, and mature over time. Our assumption is that the better equipped young Jews are along the lines the framework suggests, the more prepared they will be to become committed participants in adult Jewish life.

18 Jewish Things a Young Jew Should Know, Care About, and Be Able to Do by Age 18:

  1. Feel part of a chain of Jewish tradition, as both recipients and co-creators.
  2. Feel connected to Jews around the world.
  3. Have Jewish friends.
  4. Engage with Jewish role models and personalities.
  5. Participate in the kehilla (Jewish community).
  6. Regard Judaism as a relevant source of wisdom for their questions about life and its meaning.
  7. Appreciate tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a core Jewish value and perform acts of G’milut Khasadim (giving of loving-kindness).
  8. Care about and connect with Israel.
  9. Read and interpret sacred and historical texts and be able to discern Jewish core narratives (stories, sagas, events) and values within them.
  10. Recognize the role wrestling with God has played in Jewish life.
  11. Open themselves up to divinity through theology, prayer, study, or other spiritual practices.
  12. Understand the mutual influence of Jewish and broader culture on each other and on contemporary Jews.
  13. Be able to identify critical issues facing American Jewry and be motivated to act on them.
  14. Understand the meanings and performance of Jewish mitzvot.
  15. Participate in various Jewish rituals, customs, holidays, and lifecycle events, and appreciate their history and meaning.
  16. Comprehend and utilize Hebrew words and other Jewish terminology.
  17. Partake in Jewish culinary traditions.
  18. Experience Jewish arts and culture.
Mon, December 6 2021 2 Tevet 5782