Credits and Acknowledgements


Sarah Bunin Benor
Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies, Hebrew Union College

Netta Avineri
Associate Professor of Language Teacher Education, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Nicki Greninger
Director of Lifelong Learning, Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA


Evelyn Dean-Olmsted
Outreach Associate, Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases

Katie Light Soloway
Freelance Sociologist


The AVI CHAI Foundation is a private foundation endowed by Zalman C. Bernstein that is committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people.

The Jim Joseph Foundation (grant number 13-48), seeks to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. Established in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has awarded more than $500 million in grants with the aspiration that all Jews, their families, and their friends will be inspired by Jewish learning experiences to lead connected, meaningful, and purpose-filled lives and make positive contributions to their communities and the world.

Sponsoring organizations

George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) advances knowledge through meaningful research that improves the policy and practice of education. Together, more than 1,600 faculty, researchers and graduate students make up the GSEHD community of scholars. Founded in 1909, GSEHD continues to take on the challenges of the 21st century, guided by the belief that education is the single greatest contributor to economic success and social progress.

The Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) is an evolving community of researchers, practitioners, and philanthropic leaders dedicated to improving the quality of knowledge that can be used to guide the work of Jewish education. The Consortium supports research shaped by the wisdom of practice, practice guided by research, and philanthropy informed by a sound base of evidence.


The authors would like to thank CASJE for making this project possible through its generous funding program. Our research and editorial assistants and graphic designers did excellent work: Jason Bronowitz, Evelyn Dean-Olmsted, Miranda Doremus-Reznor, Nancy Kober, Elaine Miller, Lian Partridge, Edahn Small, Katie Light Soloway, Grant Tuioti, and Amanda Winer. Thank you to the experts and leaders who participated in interviews and to the many students, parents, teachers, and clergy who completed surveys. Special thanks to the 519 school directors who filled out surveys, the 12 who allowed us to observe in their schools, and the 8 who participated in the time-consuming constituent surveys. We hope this report will be helpful for you.

To cite this report

Benor, Sarah Bunin, Netta Avineri, and Nicki Greninger. 2020. Let’s stop calling it “Hebrew school”: Rationales, goals, and practices of Hebrew education in part-time Jewish schools. Washington, DC: Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education.