January 2022

Parents As Learners, Teachers and Partners In Their Children’s Jewish Education

Simon Klarfeld
Self-Employed Teaneck, NJ
Simon most recently served as Executive Director of Young Judaea Global. Before then, he served as executive director Columbia/Barnard Hillel; vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies; and as founding director of the Genesis program at Brandeis University. Early in his career, he was director of both the British and California-based Soviet Jewry movements, including serving “hard time” in the Soviet Union.He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Keele in England and his Master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University. Simon and his wife, Dara, have four children – Harry, Isaac, Sophie and Charlie.
It may have taken a pandemic to remind us that the home provides a critically important place for education.

As with almost every sphere of human life, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disrupter of our society’s education systems. As remote and home schooling became the norm for millions of children and teachers, and as the pandemic has forced us to be socially distant, quarantining, and remaining hyper-vigilant of hygiene and our general health—what has become clear to me—both as a parent and educator—is that the physical school, along with the teachers who facilitate its classrooms, while essential, should not be seen as the only environment in which learning takes place. It may have taken a pandemic to remind us that the home provides a critically important place for education that, at minimum, can and, I believe, should supplement the formal education institutions in our communities, and, in fact, be seen as a primary environment for non-formal learning.

Simon Klarfeld.mp3

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