A Light Unto the Nations and a Nation Like All Nations: The Contemporary Exemplar of Jews and School Violence

By Ron Avi Astor

Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA), Fall 2009

Modern Jews face the dilemma of perceiving themselves as a "people like every people" or as a "light unto the nations." This dilemma is played out in the case of school violence among Jewish children. While Israelis and Americans alike believe Jewish children to be largely immune from school violence, no evidence exists to defend that assumption; in fact, the author's own study in Israel indicates the very opposite. Yet a concentrated approach to the issue of Jewish school violence has been impossible to achieve, due to concerns over Jewish continuity, fundraising, and assimilation which create a milieu where a simple survey of school violence in schools could overturn the way Jews and non-Jews see the American Jewish community. Overcoming this societal paralysis will be necessary if the Jewish community is to work sincerely to improve itself in the years ahead.

(This double issue of the Journal of Jewish Communal Service is dedicated to SJCS, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Jewish Communal Service).

Topic: Schools, Jewish Identification, Violence, Education

Name of Publication: Journal of Jewish Communal Service

Editor: Naron, Gail

Volume/Issue: Vol. 84/No. 3/4

Page Number(s): 218-227

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel , United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Astor, Ron Avi. A Light Unto the Nations and a Nation Like All Nations: The Contemporary Exemplar of Jews and School Violence. Journal of Jewish Communal Service. Jewish Communal Service Association of North America (JCSA). Fall 2009: 218-227. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4432


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