Location:Johannesburg, South Africa
Name of implementing organization:The South African Board of Jewish Education, King David Schools
Date of initial project approval:October 2004
The South African Jewish community numbers approximately 80,000, with the Johannesburg community numbering between 50,000 and 60,000. It is estimated that there are approximately 6,000 school-age Jewish children, and that 90% of them attend Jewish day schools. Over 50% of these children are enrolled in the King David School system. In addition to the 10 Jewish day schools, there is vibrant community life. From youth movements to other structures, the community is organized and well established. The Chief Rabbi’s office and the Union of Orthodox Synagogues oversees and unites the community under one Beth Din with a high level of kashrut and other services. The South African Board of Deputies represents the community on a political level, while many other organizations take care of welfare and social needs.
To locate age-appropriate values/ideas in Judaism and help pupils incorporate them into their daily practice.
1. Teacher training in Kohlberg’s Theories and their practical use in class. Dr. Steve Bailey facilitated this in 3 stages: two one-week workshops in South Africa and a one-week seminar in Jerusalem (December 2005).
2. 32 Moral Dilemmas have been developed and refined, with stage responses and probe questions. An "answer" consists of various halachic approaches to the dilemma, and life issues arising from the dilemma.
3. The teachers have been experimenting with the dilemmas in Grades 7 and 8.
4. The Torah source materials are being developed as part of the teacher’s manual.
The 3 main costs to date have been:
1. Projects are easy to begin but more difficult to sustain. The teachers have been highly dedicated, ensuring the sustained success of development and implementation.
2. The new mode of educating in South Africa is based upon Outcomes Based Education (OBE). This mode of teaching has suited OBE perfectly, with a move away from content.
3. All teachers are trained and materials are being expertly developed.
As with any curriculum development project where a new methodology must be learned, the initial phase of the project was slower than anticipated. The project will also take a bit longer than expected. The benefits have far outweighed these minor difficulties.
Rabbi Craig Kacev
P O Box 46204, Orange Grove, 2119, South Africa
Telephone/fax: +2711 480 4725 / +27 11 485 1350