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The field of Jewish teen education and engagement is poised for a radical paradigm shift that will meet the modern needs, desires, and interests of today’s Jewish teens.
Traditional ways in which the Jewish community has approached teen learning no longer resonate. Over a two-year period, researchers led by Dr. David Bryfman, our Chief Innovation Officer at The Jewish Education Project, conducted a comprehensive qualitative research project to explore Jewish teen identity today. This work culminated with the identification of 14 outcomes designed to measure the impact of Jewish teen education and engagement.
These outcomes reflect the paradigm shift from a Jewish education and engagement model that asked “what knowledge can we impart to this teen?” to one which aligns with a “whole person learning theory.” Jewish teen programs now should be asking “how can our work help this teen thrive as a human being in today’s complex and challenging world?”
The outcomes aspire to kick-start a radical transformation in teen work. This paradigm shift demands that educators and the institutions in which they work deeply consider their core mission and reflect upon how their work must shift as well.