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January 01, 1993 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-01-01

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Constitution Written,
JEC Expands Focus




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ince its inception
nearly 10 years ago,
the Jewish Educators
Council gathered
every other month for lunch
to discuss communication
within the community,
grant proposals and trips to
With the publishing
last January of the Giles
report — a Federation
study recommending the
Agency for Jewish Edu-
cation (AJE) get out of
the business of teaching
elementary school chil-
dren — JEC has restruc-
tured itself and its focus.
A constitution has
been written with the
express goals of taking a
more active role in
Jewish education in
"With the completion
of the Giles report, it
became clear there was a
level of advocacy we
(members of JEC) need-
ed to be involved in —
that we could better
spend our time and ener-
gies," said Ira Wise,
Temple Emanu-El educa-
tion director and chair-
man of the JEC constitu-
tion committee.
The Giles report, in
addition to recommend-
ing AJE act as a resource
center as opposed to run-
ning elementary Hebrew
and Sunday school class-
es, also suggested a
restructuring of funds,
an increase in dollars
spent on education, Fed-
eration's help in paying
for education for needy
parents and the develop-
ment of an implementa-
tion committee to create
a plan for transition. Out
of the implementation
committee a consortium
would be born — a think
tank on Jewish educa-
Although the report
specifically addressed
AJE, JEC viewed the
report as affecting all
those involved in Jewish

"JEC put in our bid to
be a part of that imple-
mentation committee,"
Mr. Wise said. "However,
some members of the
committee seemed to
think as a group we did
not accomplish much of
anything and did not
take us seriously.
"To gather a consor-
tium whose vision is
long-range education but
not involve educators in
it is absurd," he added.
The consortium has
not yet formed. The Giles
commission hopes to
have such a think tank
running by next Sep-
tember. Players on the
team have yet to be

"The Giles
report provided
us with an impetus
and a focus."

Ira Wise

"I think it is safe to
presume no segment of
the education community
has failed to be taken
seriously. The implemen-
tation committee has
been meticulous in seek-
ing input from all
involved," said Dr.
Conrad Giles, chairman
of the committee whic
issued the report.
"However, it's clear in
changing the way educa-
tion is being delivered
from the way it has been
delivered for genera-
tions, certain groups ar
going to feel less con-
nected. Though regret-
table, it's the nature o
the education body
According to Mr. Wise,
JEC saw the Giles report
as the lead to raise the
status of Jewish educa-
tion in the community.
In that vein, rather than
taking offense to the way
their council was viewed,
members of JEC contin-
ued making changes
within their own struc-

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