Vision of a Modern Orthodox Jewish Education

by: Jack Bieler

This paper was written for the Mandel Foundation’s Visions of Jewish Education project.
Republished here with permission.

Introduction:

An ideal Modern Orthodox Jewish educational plan will simultaneously have a great deal in common with all excellent educational programs, even as it will be unique with respect to its religious ideology and mission. Paralleling the inherent paradoxes within “Modern Orthodoxy”, i.e., the challenge to balance religious Jewish belief and observance with the modern temper and the individual’s contemporary social and communal setting, neither an educational approach that in order for students to gain literacy and analytic and academic skills in their dual traditions, merely includes in a non-self-conscious manner Modern Orthodox materials while placing primary emphasis upon sources, perspectives and experiences drawn from secular culture and society, nor a program that is exclusively religious in orientation and deliberately pays minimal lip service to general studies and contemporary
civilization, will embody such an ideal course of Modern Orthodox study and the development of a unique religious outlook.

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