What do Judaic Studies, Art and Music Share?
These are the claims that we make about Judaic Studies in our setting: Judaic Studies further supports our student’s critical thinking and literacy development as students are challenged to find supporting evidence for textual claims. Jewish social studies applies the same skills that are developed in general studies social studies – understanding of timelines, and the ability to look at contested theories of historical events. Similarly, we make claims about art and music classes. These are said to enhance student mathematical ability, and to show improvement in all academic areas.
Most of the research supporting these claims is noteworthy and well-documented. Though I make these claims too, I feel that an underlying assumption in them undersells their more significant value. That assumption is that Judaic Studies and the arts are important only because it maps to other General Studies goals and that music and visual arts are only significant, and encouraged because they make people “smarter” in a conventional way of thinking about intelligence.
Judaic Studies plays an important role, whether for a Jewish child or one who isn’t, in clarifying individual identity, in engaging in deep “I wonder” questions, and in learning and living enduring values. Additionally, the child learns to locate him/herself on a timeline connecting to an epic narrative about humanity. Judaic Studies along with the arts puts students in touch with experiences that give meaning to life and helps them find a language to express their emotions in those experiences.
Music, art and spiritual endeavors tap into the human spirit. We can see this in action as each child pours his/her soul into artwork, and that artwork - gracing our bulletin boards - lets us see the result of that effort as it further inspires us, the viewers. We see that same spirit as students continue to sing songs begun during morning tefillah as they walk to their first class of the day. All of these subjects help us see relationships and the world in unexpected ways. Students benefit from this rich education, and all the adults in the building are further inspired and moved emotionally by this work.
Wornick ArtFest takes place on Sunday, March 25th from 3-6 pm. Come ready to be inspired by our students’ artwork.
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