The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Israel Education: A Conceptual Analysis

This paper offers a philosophical analysis of Israel education as reflected in the Jewish education research literature. The main uses of the term are identified in six distinct models - the understanding modern Israel model, the Jewish peoplehood model, the learner centered model, the Jewish visions for a better world model, the Jewish civic engagement model, and the social activism model. All of these conceptions of Israel education seek to address the challenge of transmitting and transforming Jewishness across the generations with Israel as an integral value. The issues at the heart of Israel education will not be properly addressed unless researchers of Israel education engage scholarly criticism of Israel as a normative value, contemplate a revised conception of Jewishness beyond the religious framework consistent with political liberalism, and consider a corresponding educational vision that promotes an expansive conception of Jewish identity.