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Education: Bilingual Education and Jewish Values

Bilingual Education and Jewish Values

Education is a foundation in Judaism. We believe that all children have a right to a free, and productive education which will help them become literate participants in our democracy. The American Jewish community, and the Reform Movement specifically, historically have been major supporters of our public school system in keeping with the values laid out by Maimonides who wrote that "any city that does not have a school in it shall be cut off [all contact] until they find a teacher for the children" (Hilchot Talmu Torah 2:1). We have a special obligation to support our public schools and to make known to our communities the important role that they play in our society.

Rabbi Judah the Prince affirms: "The world endures only for the sake of the breath of schoolchildren." It is the responsibility of every community to ensure the education of its young, by providing teachers who can inspire students, enabling each child academic mastery of his or her studies. We are enjoined to teach in a manner that affirms the student's self esteem: Those who are shamed by their lack of skills are not able to learn" (Rabbi Hillel,Pirkei Avot 2:6).