I'm Jon Spira-Savett, rabbi at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, New Hampshire. This website and blog is a resource for Jewish learning and Jewish action. It is a way to share my thoughts beyond my classes and weekly Divrei Torah. You'll find blog posts, standing resource pages with links and things to read, and podcasts as well.
#integratingamerica Oops, I posted two items out of order!
Two months ago I posted an almost-vow, and in the Jewish year we're headed into the season when we think about our vows... In reflecting on my state's new law around teaching about controversial topics, I suggested in July I might go back this year and re-learn the American Studies curriculum Leslie Bazer and I created and taught for three years at the Solomon Schechter High School of Long Island from 1996-1999. We called it "Integrating America", to reflect that it was both an integrated literature and social studies curriculum, and that it was about how we integrate ourselves individually into the collective and how different groups integrated into the collective -- certainly American Jews but not only.
I didn't vow then, but I'm expressing a strong intent to follow through.
So I thought I'd post my intent and an invitation about how this will work, for anyone who wants along for the ride.
1. First, if anyone out there was part of the class I'd always welcome your comments or your own posts!
2. I'm going to track the curriculum as it was and post some kind of short reflection on that day's lesson or assignment.
3. The goals of the program included both learning about the past and learning how to be an engaged citizen. So if you want to comment on any of my posts, keep that in mind.
4. The curriculum had blind spots, reflective of me for sure and perhaps of the time. I won't sugarcoat that -- this is the point, what have I learned since or what did I overlook -- and I'll try to comment on that.
5. If you want to post yourself on your own page in relation, I'd love if you'd use #integratingamerica so I could try to keep up!
The first assignment was to bring in an artifact that represents America to you right now. I'll comment on mine in the next post (which is actually on the blog the previous post.)