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Experimenting with Jewish Education: Towards a Science of Understanding

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Publication Date: September 2006

Publisher(s): Jewish Life Network

Author(s): Leonard Saxe; Benjamin Phillips

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Education (Statistics, research, and research methods and financing)

Keywords: Program Evaluation; Methodology; Education

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


Despite their central role in other areas, true experiments are rare in Jewish education. Much research on Jewish education is conducted without systematic assessment. Typically, investigations examine changes solely in the treatment group — examining only those exposed to the intervention. Such study designs, however, make it difficult to separate the effects of the intervention from maturation and other natural changes. The evaluation of Taglit-birthright Israel is an exception to the typical studies of Jewish education. Can the design used to test the impact of birthright israel be applicable to other Jewish education programs?

Contact 8:4, Summer 2006