Just in case versus Just in time.

It’s fascinating to think that these manufacturing terms, originally dealing with inventory, have been recrafted for the digital environment.

They are getting another makeover in being re-envisioned for approaches to Jewish education.

But then again, how far-fetched is it….we are in the business of ‘manufacturing’ committed Jews, aren’t we?

Old school supplementary Jewish education for teens was based on the premise of “Just in case” i.e. let’s put everything in the pot: hebrew language, Jewish identity, Israel education, Holidays and customs, synagogue skills…mix it all up just in case this would be relevant and meaningful at some point in the future.

The ‘just in case’ attitude seemed to be based on a hit or miss approach to education, or rather,” let’s throw enough Jewish stuff in, and something will stick!” Years later, it didn’t stick very well at all.

The approach of “Just enough, Just in time” is a new paradigm that looks at output that is not separate from input.

To be frank, though we’re not creating a car here, we need to really pay attention to the ‘manufacturing process’ as it relates to the consumer in order to have a lean and agile Jewish educational environment.  Then we can provide ‘just enough’ really spectacular educational offerings, ‘just in time’ when the student is ready to learn, to be meaningful.

That doesn’t mean teaching fluff, it means ultimate teaching–teaching with a sense of urgency.

For that to happen, we need to do some things that are not very trendy at all; we need to listen.

About Ruth Schapira

As a Jewish educator, I hope to broaden opportunities for learning and offer new ideas. If my posts inspire you to hold conversations and motivate change within the Jewish community, that would make me very happy. I'm interested in making a difference. View all posts by Ruth Schapira

2 responses to “Just in case versus Just in time.

  • Deborah Nagler

    True, throwing it all at the wall to see what sticks has not been an effective approach. I believe that the intent was honorable. There was a desire to achieve a baseline of Jewish literacy. In the end, we achieved neither literacy nor spiritual development.

    I understand you to suggest that the origin of meaningful education is going to be the student himself. That by beginning the conversation “b’asher hem sham” we can cultivate learning pathways that are personally meaningful and lifelong.

  • Eliezer Sneiderman

    Perhaps, it is the “case” that has changed. In the past we put more Jewish education in the pot, because, there was a chance that students actually might use it. I think if one looks a the stats on weekly synagogue attendance, they are way down.

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