Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Schein, serves as Senior Education Consultant for the Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood. He is also currently director of “Text Me: Judaism and Technology,” a joint project of the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and The Covenant Foundation. He was previously director of the Adolescent Initiative and Special Projects for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. For twenty years prior to that, he was a professor and director of the Education Department at the Laura and Alvin Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland. He also served as the senior consultant to the “Lekhu Lakhem” project of the Mandel Jewish Center, a major initiative to change the Jewish character of eighteen JCC camps across North America through the professional development of their directors. For seventeen years he served as the education director and then senior consultant for Jewish education to the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, the congregational organization of the Reconstructionist movement. He also served on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College for nine years.
Dr. Schein is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1977) and of the doctoral program in curriculum studies of Temple University (1980). He is the author (or co-author) of Creative Jewish Education (Rossel books), Targilon: a Guide for Charting the Course of Jewish Family Education (JESNA and JRF), Windows on the Jewish Soul (JRF), Growing Together: Resources, Programs and Experiences for Jewish Family Education (ARE/Behrman House), and, most recently, Kol Ha-No’ar: The Voice of Children (a prayer book for young children and their families; JRF), as well as numerous journal articles about Jewish, other religious and general education.
With his wife Deborah Schein, an early childhood professor, he has developed a seminar series titled “The 100 Languages of Children Meet the 70 Faces of Torah” designed to create frameworks for learning across the Jewish life cycle. Together, Jeffrey and Deborah presented the seminar as guest scholars for Leo Baeck College and the Jewish community of Great Britain in the spring of 2004.
Dr. Schein’s leadership positions have included serving as national program chair for the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education (CAJE), as President of the Association of Institutions of Higher Learning for Jewish Education and as a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA).
Dr. Schein was the first non-pulpit rabbi to receive the Ira Eisenstein Award for distinguished community service from he Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association in 2001. In 1992, he was the founding rabbi of Kol HaLev, Cleveland’s Reconstructionist Jewish Community.
Jeffrey and Deborah’s children are Benjamin, Jonah and Hana. Their grandchildren are Ilan, Tali and Aryeh.
This short article reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented by digital technology in Reconstructionist education.
This evaluation tool provides a rubric for assessing the contemporary state of Jewish education
This resource on Jewish peoplehood provides tools for Jewish educators, including early childhood educators, to reflect and teach on issues of Jewish identity and peoplehood.