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May 22, 1998     Jewish News
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May 22, 1998

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EYE 00ess , ,- ::... , :: ! '?: .!,/:'- : .,:::.-r%"f:' ,";':'V :'" * +'" Jewish Community Day Schools By Ada Michaels Ada Michaels Since retirement as head of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater in June, 1996, I have had the opportunity to travel in the United States. And, what did I choose to visit? Jewish Community Day Schools, of course. After spending so many years "tied" to the Hebrew Academy, it has been interesting to compare the growth and development of day schools in other cities. Besides visiting day schools, I am the national consultant for the Jewish Community Day School Network (JCDSN) which is comprised of 48 schools in the United States and Canada representing over 10.500 students. Dr. Laurence Kutler, Head of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. is currently serving as chairman of the Network. My most recent travels were in Florida where I visited the David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation and the Hebrew Day School of Central Florida in Orlando. Previously, I visited the Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton and the Hillel School in Tampa. Florida has a booming economy and a rapidly expanding Jewish population. The south Florida counties of Dade, Palm Beach and Broward constitute the fourth largest Jewish population center in the United States. (The largest is New York City, followed by Los Angeles and Chicago.) In this area there are five community day schools associated with JCDSN and an equal number of day schools affiliated with specific Jewish denominations. The increase of the young Jewish population has led to an influx of students for day schools.'Three day schools are adding ninth grades and/or expanding to a second campus. Dr. Gary Rubin, the Federation director of Broward County and a previous director of our Tidewater Federation, spoke with enthusiasm about the population explosion in his area and the changes it has brought, particularly in the growth of the area day schools. He noted that Jewish day schools are offering high quality education surpassing other schools, both public and private. The students' attendance in day schools make the families more knowledgeable in Judaic ritual and practice. Roni Raab, Head of the Upper School at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy, sees a commitment in the families to Jewish education. He states', "Families are looking for Jewish continuity and remaining at a day school through high school encourages this." Schools that are expanding do not have to be located in the southern Florida thriving area. The Hebrew Day School of Central Florida (Orlando) is planning to expand to a second campus. The Hillel School of Tampa recently expanded its building to accommodate the influx of students. And, it is not just in Florida that I am seeing the increase in the Jewish day school population. New schools are opening or established schools are increasing enrollments in New Orleans, Portland, Maine, Durham/Chapel Hill, and Lancaster, PA to mention a few. In addition to the high schools planned at the David Posnack Hebrew Day School and the Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Florida, there are new high schools in Atlanta, Boston, and Irvine, CA to mention a few. What does this mean for our future? How does this relate to the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater? The young families of today are CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 Tidewater National Jewish women's organization join together for Symposium By Annie Sandier The overwhelming success of women's programming and con- ferences across the country -- be they spiritual, educational, or practical and hands-on in nature -- was the impetus for creating a women's symposium in our own Tidewater community. Farideh Goldin and I attended the first International Research Institute for Jewish Women (IRIJW) at Brandeis University this past December. The invita- tional conference was the inau- gural event of the IRIJW and signaled the beginning of a new era in Jewish women's studies around 'the world. Presenters talked about the status of Jewish women in their respective coun- tries and offered insights into the ....................................... Save the Date! WHAT: Jewish Women's S convened by tthe United Jewish Fedation of Tidewater WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 30 WHERE: I-ldxew Academy of T-'wat myriad of challenges facing Jewish women around the world, including accommoda- tion of the past, negotiation of the present, and planning for the future. The presentations were so powerful and pertinent to us that we came home to Tidewater, located underwriters and encour- aged five national Jewish Women's organizations to con- vene the event. The coalition is comprised of Women's Ameri- can ORT, Hadassah, Jewish Women International (formerly B'nai B'rith Women), Brandeis University Women. and the Women's Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater (UJA/CJF). In today's world, women are being pulled in many different directions by jobs, by families, and by community participation and volunteerism at all levels. It is becoming increasingly diffi- cult for today's woman to find Dr. Shulamith Reinharz Director of Women's Studies Professor of Sociology, Brandeis University the time to leave home and trav- el to out of town conferences. However, we recognize that there is still a need for interest- ing, substantive, and provocative discussion on current women's issues affecting not only our- selves, but our mothers, friends, sisters, and daughters. In response to this need, we have scheduled our first Jewish Women's Symposium: "Sharing Voices: Strength in Unity." The symposium will be held on Sun- day, August 30 at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Dr. Shulamit Reinharz, Direc- tor of the IRIJW and the Women's Studies Depamnent at Brandeis University, along with Dr. Sylvia Barack Fishman, Judaic Studies Chair at Bran- well, showcasing just some of th amazing hm,town talent and resources available in this community. Part of the beauty and strength of our community is its wealth ol;human resources. We are fommate to have women volunteers and professionals who are capable and talented, welt-informed and opinionated, active and tireless. The time is right to run a terrific program highlighting that talent and offering an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships between ourselves as individuals and among our wonderful and diverse women's organizations. Pooling resources and forging stronger relationships, crossing boundaries for the good of the whole, will serve to make us a deis, will facilitate the sympo- sium and deliver the keynote presentations. Internationally recognized photographer Joan Roth will document the sympo- sium and also present at one of the program's break-out ses- sions. Ruth Knafo Setton, author and professor, will also conduct two break-out sessions. Several of our own women will present at the conference, as stronger community, tt will aim open up new lines of communi- cation and provide a formn for new ideas and conversations. Please mark your day-plan, nets and hold the date of Sun- day Aug, 30. Tell a friend. Bring a tiend. And keep read- ins the South Eastern Virginia + Jewish News for further updates on the Jewish Women's Sympo- sium. ,/