by Rabbi Jeffrey Schein, Senior Education Consultant and Co-Director
For several years my 8th graders at the Heilicher Jewish Day School in Minneapolis would tease me. Rabbi Jeff are you a GJGDC? I would tease them right back saying “please remind me what is a GjGDC?” They would then answer with the mantra from our semester-long course that a GJGDC is a good Jewish Global Digital Citizen. While I delighted in moving along the conceptual plane explored in my website and my 2018 volume Text Me: Ancient Jewish Widom Meets Contemporary Technology, I recognized that to be meaningful to Jewish teachers a slightly different tact was necessary. My students’ questions would be my guide. The response to their questions is sketched out below with annotated resources.
I can see your heads nodding in agreement with the notion that we live in a highly digital age. I think the nodding would continue if I suggest Jewish values and texts should be a vital resource in responding to everything about who we are and what we are becoming. But how am I to afford my students this opportunity you would ask somewhat incredulously given the challenges of the Jewish classroom.
The twin challenge is not philosophical. It is pedagogical and curricular: how to create enough pedagogic resources and space to allow for meaningful reflection about our Judaism, technology, and our digital lives. I hope I can help with the former and the presence of these resources will inspire you to make the time and space available for this journey.
Below is Dr. Jeff’s prescription and good-tasting medicine for 20 hours of work spread throughout the 5th to 10th-grades years of your Jewish curriculum. It is all part of the quest of becoming a GJDGC (good Jewish Digital Global Citizen)
- On One Foot: The Heart of Text Me via Its Complicated: Scully and the Smart Phone (5th Grade (- recommended with parent, 2 hours)
- Awkward Family Photos (6th or 7th grade, 5 hours)
- The Big Picture of Technology Revolutions and Judaism (7th or 8th grade, 5 hours)
- The Ten Commandments of Being a GJDGC (Good Jewish Digital Global Citizen (9th grade, 5 hours)
- Shabbat as a Mirror to Our Relationship to Digital Technology: A Unit for Teens and Adults (Confirmation, 5 hours)
Feel free to remix these units to meet the needs and structure of your educational program.
For more resources see Textmejudaism.com.
If you generate more resources yourself please be in touch with the author so we can share them on the website.