Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Can a Democratic School Provide a Jewish Education?

From: Carol Hughes <>
Date: Fri Oct 17 16:11:00 2003

Perhaps my perspective is a little different. I was raised in a Baptist
household. Without telling the gory details, I chose at 24 to convert to
Judiasm. In retrospect I think I wanted to get away from the religion of my
family in whatever way I could mostly. I later found that I didn't feel
able to "become" a Jew. But I will always treasure what I learned from the
experience. One thing that stands out in my mind is that over and again the
Jewish laws made terrific sense in terms of survival of life and limb and
community. In my humble opinion Judiasm comes from the traditions of life
that work to sustain family. So then, may I be permitted to connect the
dots and say that if a child is encouraged to find that same source in him
or herself, then the truthes and origins of Jewish law will once again
prevail without any outside effort at all. The lives of those around a
child will speak volumes to the value of a religion/way of thinking. If
there is not a match in the quality of life of the family that sparks a
flame, then there are no lessons on earth that will "teach" what is not
Carol Hughes

> "And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and
> daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from
> you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may
> them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts.
> may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the
> house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
> You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For
> goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which
> your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark
> the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows
> may go swift and far.
> Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as he
> the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."
> "The Prophet," Gibran Khalil Gibran
> ~ David Rovner
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ardeshir Mehta" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 1:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Can a Democratic School Provide a
> Jewish Education?
> >
> > On Friday, October 17, 2003, at 05:21 AM, David Rovner wrote:
> >
> > > "The question remains whether it is possible to reconcile the rabbinic
> > > injunctions to 'teach your child' with the Democratic school's motto
> > > of 'let them be'."
> > >
> > > "It is this trust that can produce children who study when they get
> > > bored, instead of children who get bored of their studies."
> > >
> > > Read this interesting article posted in the Jerusalem Democratic
> > > School website:
> > >
> > > Can a Democratic School Provide a Jewish Education?
> > >
> > >
> >
> > The article concludes:
> >
> > [QUOTE]
> >
> > Democratic education compels parents and educators to let go of the
> > illusion that they control children's minds. If Jewish education is
> > about holding on to this illusion, then no, Democratic schools will not
> > provide this type of education. If, on the other hand, Jewish education
> > is about actively promoting Jewish heritage and values in children,
> > then Democratic schools may give parents a fighting chance.
> >
> > Democratic schools are proactive in their approach to education, but
> > they replace the cries of 'teach them, teach them' with exhortations to
> > 'trust them, trust them'. It is this trust that can produce children
> > who study when they get bored, instead of children who get bored of
> > their studies. It is this tolerance that can produce children who
> > respect themselves and go on to respect others. It is in this
> > atmosphere of freedom that Torah will survive as our children find
> > intrinsic meaning in its words.
> >
> > May we all merit to raise children occupied in Torah and mitzvot.
> >
> >
> > I wonder what the writer might say if, after the children are "trusted,
> > trusted and trusted", a whole lot of them end up, as adults, thinking
> > exactly like Karl Marx or Lev Davidovich Bronstein (i.e., Leon Trotsky).
> >
> > Genuine trust requires the ability to allow and even encourage one's
> > children to think for themselves *even* if the things they end up
> > thinking are exactly the opposite of one's own most cherished beliefs.
> > Otherwise it's merely sham trust.
> >
> >
> > Ardeshir <>
> _______________________________________________
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Received on Fri Oct 17 2003 - 16:10:43 EDT

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