Becoming a Congregation of Learners: Learning as a Key to Revitalizing Congregational Life

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$19.95  $18.55
Jewish Lights Publishing
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6.0 X 9.0 X 0.61 inches | 0.87 pounds
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About the Author

Isa Aron, PhD, is professor of Jewish education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Rhea Hirsch School of Education. Founder and former director of the Experiment in Congregational Education (ECE), she now serves as senior consultant. She holds a PhD in philosophy of education from the University of Chicago, and her writing on education and congregational renewal has appeared in such journals as the American Journal of Education, Tikkun and the Journal of Reform Judaism. She is also author of Becoming a Congregation of Learners: Learning as a Key to Revitalizing Congregational Life and The Self-renewing Congregation: Organizational Stragegies for Revitalizing Congregational Life.

Isa Aron, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Synagogue Change (or Synagogue Renewal)
  • Jewish Education
  • Moral Education

Professor Aron is a distinguished educator at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's Rhea Hirsch School of Education in Los Angeles, where she directs the Experiment in Congregational Education (ECE). Along with another volume, The Self-Renewing Congregation: Organizational Strategies for Revitalizing Congregational Life, this book constitutes part of the series of "Synagogue 2000," headed by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman. The materials produced by this project were created in a collaborative venture with Jewish Lights Publishing. Its aim is, as expressed by Rabbi Sid Schwartz, is to deepen the commitment of members and reach out to new constituencies.

In her outstanding and useful manual for making the synagogue into a community of learners, Prof. Aron helps synagogue leaders assess their congregation's readiness for change, form the community into teams to help to process unfold, study Jewish texts together (texts and lesson plans are included in the book), agree on a collective vision, and plan for strategic achievements. Included also are real-life examples and advice from synagogues across North America that are working toward becoming congregations of learners. We have here a transformative guidebook, an outstanding piece of work that every serious synagogue should take advantage of.

--Dov Peretz Elkins "Jewish Media Review "

Isa Aron, Becoming a Congregation of Learners. Jewish Lights, 2002. This volume can be viewed as a companion publication to Rabbi Jacobs' book on social action. The author is a prominent educator on the faculty of the Los Angeles branch of Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. It is the product of an 8- year experiment in congregational education, a project HUC-JIR designed to study how congregants of all ages are engaged in Jewish learning, and then on developing concrete practices that will help congregational leaders insure that serious Jewish learning can flower in American synagogues. The forward by Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, codeveloper of Synagogue 2000 (now Synagogue 3000), integrates this material, specifically directed to learning, into the rest of the Synagogue 3000 program. Both this and Rabbi Jacobs' book address central challenges facing our congregations. Professor Aron has assembled a rich treasury of vignettes out of her years of experience, together with how precisely congregations can avoid the pitfalls that are almost inevitable in projects of this kind. We must be grateful to the publisher, Jewish Lights, for both volumes.

--CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism